Timeless Singer-Songwriter pens a Beautiful Ballad .
Geordie singer-songwriter Jake Houlsby first crossed my radar a few years ago when I had a radio show, and he sent me some demos that eventually became his debut EP Yannina.
Jake is an undoubted talent; blending Modern Folk sensibilities with the best qualities of the heart rendering singer- songwriters of my youth in the 1970’s. The intervening years have baffled me, as he has all but disappeared; occasionally surfacing on BBC Introducing and occasional gigs in far flung corners of Northumbria; while lesser talents have gone on to dominate the pages of the broadsheets and fill large Arenas (you know who I mean).
Which all brings us to his latest single Carousel; which in the modern idiom will be released on streaming services first then as an actual record/CD with a B-Side (Sabinal) in April.
An intricately strummed acoustic guitar opens the song; and continues through it before Jake’s hauntingly expressive voice glides in like a warm Summer breeze.
Houlsby’s way with words is both expressive and subtle; reminding me of Clifford T Ward and/or Nick Drake; coupled with a fulsome, but never overbearing production makes for a gorgeously bleak 3 minutes.
The B-Side Sabinal also opens with some clever acoustic guitar, but this time verging on the Spanish. The song itself also borders on the sad; but the type of ‘sad’ that conjures up images of lonely evenings with only memories to keep you company.
Hopefully this is a pre-cursor to a whole album in the same vein; because if it is I will be the first in the queue; and with the likes of Ed Sheeran and James Bay in the ascendancy there is certainly room for a handsome young talent like Jake Houlsby too.
Released April 15th 2016