Its one of my great joys, receiving an email introducing some new music or artist. But often sadly its a short lived joy, finding the content not to my personal liking. But then sometimes, boom, you hit the jackpot and there is something that makes the hairs on your arms lift just a bit.
So it was when I finally got around to following the links in the email to Hail Taxi‘s new EP, Apart For So Long. Hail Taxi is the latest nom de guerre for Nathaniel Sutton, who calls Edmonton, Alberta home and who has released material under his own name in the past; it seems that Hail Taxi is his return to the fray after a few years away.
The all too brief five tracks manage to feel related but different – the opening track that hooks you almost immediately, the fine acoustic instrumental, the slightly poppy, the melancholic, and the closing instrumental that takes me straight to Vini Reilly. But their golden threads are the vocal; be it in the breathy mode, or the Elliot Smith echo, and the guitar work; picked, resonant and reverb-y – both of them mixed pleasingly high and clear.
There is a disarming simplicity to all the tracks which manages not to be simplistic but just direct. Produced with a lovely openness, a space for the sounds to move around, inviting you in to be snared by the hooks and melodies.
I don’t know if Mr Sutton appreciates it, but this little gem of an EP is delivered with the confidence of someone who is comfortable with what he is delivering, not feeling the need to over-extend or complicate, that’s why I find it so compelling, that’s why it rewards and deserves frequent visits. I wonder what a full albums-worth would be like?