There is something strangely familiar about the music that makes up the four tracks of Innes Wilsons ‘Seaview EP’. A comforting hug of casualness and ease while somehow also containing a depth of storytelling and detail. Almost like Iron and Wine or David Gray and the way their slower acoustic music comes across, especially on tracks like ‘Passing Afternoon’ and ‘Sail Away.’
Vancouver native Innes Wilson has been writing and performing music since 1999, and after a six-year break, he returned with two albums ‘Bedford Hills’ and ‘Northumberland Slums’, and now this, ‘Seaview EP’.
With lyrics suggesting an amount of burden and torment, they are deeply mesmerizing and profound. Like hidden treasures from a long-forgotten diary. They are also relatable and could be taken and put into an endless number of circumstances and scenarios. This is an immense strength of this EP, and something Innes Wilson deserves a substantial amount of credit for.
Overall, these tracks are very simplistic musically, two of the four being just acoustic guitar with the slightest amount of harmonica. No drums or bass, but these tracks are notably the best. They have an eerie, painful nature to them. It’s impossible to not picture to the breakdown of a relationship, the heartbreaking goodbye, and well wishes. The emotional flood that tears everything down and leaves nothing in its wake, aside from the isolated remains of what’s left after. Emulated in a sense by the front cover of this EP.
At times I was pleasantly surprised with the range of the vocal work, never unnecessarily overreaching or trying too hard, but also featuring some breath-taking harmony work. That is part of the charm of these tracks though. And adds to the level of reliability and quality of these little stories.
‘From Now to Forever’ is the opener, and simplistic, ever so slightly distorted guitars and drums set the rhythm. They match the sombre, pained texture of his vocals beautifully. This track also showcases the attention to detail and care that went into the recording of this EP. The production is magnificent and has a great amount of dynamic range. A trickle of Piano work closes the track, almost symbolising the end of something important.
‘Rough Falls’ is next, and this is where things slow down. This track has a sense of solitude to it. Like being alone at 2 am and contemplating sending a text to someone important. But someone who is no longer yours. His vocals ooze with longing and regret. With chances never taken and opportunities missed. The simplistic single guitar adds to the poignant track stunningly with the harmonica adding a sense of urgency, like a text being written out and then deleted. Another chance not taken.
‘Pelee Beach’ is up next. An extremely simple track, very reminiscent of something from Eddie Vedder on the Into the Wild album. However simple this track is though, it doesn’t subtract from the amount of beauty it possesses. This track sounds sorrowful and despondent. Even more so with the extremely well-used nature sounds in the background. It brings to mind a traveller, escaping something, and the lonely road he is on with nothing but nature as company.
Finally, we have ‘The Ballad of Earl Rowe.’ This last track sees the return of the drums and bass and is a great end to this collection of tracks. Optimism, hope, and relief are the feelings that this song conveys, and it does it masterfully. Almost like he was able to let go of the lost love interest and suddenly locks eyes with the next one in a crowded room. It is a fantastic track to close this EP and one to end the story well.
‘Seaview’ tells a tale extremely well, almost like a book or a movie, and does it in a believable way. It brings up multiple feelings. The emotional impact of pain, loss, and heartbreak, while also coming full circle and making the listener feel like things are going to be ok. Something useful to anyone suffering from similar issues.
This is an amazingly written EP that is raw and at times heart-breaking and I highly recommend you check it out.