Jo Bywater - Jo Bywater demo
Reviewed by Ben on 30th June 2006
I've mentioned it before, and I'll mention it again - acoustic musicians are coming back in fashion, and in droves. This weeks artist hails from Mersyside and represents the female of the species. Jo Bywater's eponymous three track demo showcases a funky take on the folk music battery we seem to be encountering this year. With a voice somewhat reminiscent of current 'it' girl Sandi Thom, her lyrical styling are more accustom (Incubus frontman) to Bradon Boyd's 'streaming conscious thought' random quick fire singing, but with a sensitivity to it.
Shoegazing is very much a 'chilled out' affair with very strong ties to Jack Johnson's work, and puts Jo's voice very much to the forefront of her music - a secondary weapon hidden behind the guitar.
Too Much Time is an almost heartbreaking track recounting , a sombre mood underlying throughout the song. Meshing together the somewhat melancholy guitar work with lyrics which some could conceive as 'neo-feminist' (such as "If id've spent a little less time/Holding your opinions over mine/If id've spent a little less time/Confirming what I do is right"). Comparisons to Alanis Morissette should stop there.
Glass Door Is the funkiest of the three (funkier than one would expect with a acoustic guitar) and definitely backs up the previous Brandon Boyd comment. This is the standout track on the demo - it has a charming energy to it, but nothing to the extent of the threat of breaking a sweat. It's, as much as it pains me to use this phrase, 'toe-tappingly good'.
For a three track demo, it's been glued inside my CD player. As dirty a word as it is, the demo is ideal easy listening without the somewhat shameful reputation of middle aged men driving to work listening to it.... people our age can do the same thing as well and still take away a degree of 'hipness'
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