Scottish native, Leeds based singer-songwriter Gary Stewart’s latest offering, Year and a Day is an endearing affair that embodies contemporary folk music in its purest and finest form: uncomplicated yet melodically and lyrically engaging.
Year and a Day tenderly commences with ‘Thorns’ a song that emanates a hypnotising, haunting quality. Initially serene and delicate, the track progresses into a pinnacle crescendo of percussion and weary, distinctive vocals, followed by equally elegant ‘Eve’.Gary’s voice is at the forefront of both songs and it is irrefutably enchanting, laying down a foundation for the remainder of the E.P and producing the promise of consistent captivation.
‘Green’ is a contrasting up-beat continuation and introduction to Gary’s vibrant interpretation of classic Americana; paying homage to his influences and propelling us into a whimsical world of charming instrumentations of fiddles and plucked strings, inevitably enhancing his musical ability and reluctance to stick to a particular tempo or sound.
The E.P gracefully concludes with ‘Blue’ in which Gary provides us with Celtic-drenched soliloquies and compelling harmonies with a chorus that proves to be one of the more prominent, memorable features from Year and a Day, inspiring conviction of Gary’s potential. This track takes us back to the laid-back elements of ‘Thorn’ and ‘Eve’ but differs within the slight injection of energy and zeal.
Throughout Year and a Day Gary Stewart reiterates folk-infused populism from a number of British contemporaries along with the occasional nod to the prominent and influential singer-songwriters of the 1960’s, whilst also exuding hints of Celtic flair and Caledonian charm.