Everything You Were Meant To Be (EP)
Fire and Brimstone Indie!
Because of financial restraints following the break up of his previous band, young Londoner Ben McKelvey was forced to play all the instruments (including glockenspiel!) on this, his second EP.
If that truly is the case; he is a very rare talent indeed.
Opening song Stay Young comes across as latter day Jam influenced Indie anthem; and could and should appeal to teenagers of all ages; (even us old Rockers!). In my younger days it would certainly have been a Jukebox hit; and well worth 20p of anyone’s pocket money (how old do I sound?); but it really has one of those rabble rousing; fist in the air, shout out loud choruses that are timeless.
Ben then throws a curve ball with track #2 Gold. Still punchy and from the heart; but his Estuary enunciation and deeply felt love lorn lyrics bring Billy Bragg to mind.
When we get to track #4 McKelvey really shows his song-writing skills on Sunday. A dour acoustic remembrance of the morning after the night before; in a blunt manner. Again Billy Bragg springs to mind; but the young fan base that this lad is targeting won’t have ever heard of the Bard of Barking; so that’s a reference for the oldies among us.
While that song has been an actual single; my favourite track here and the one that should pass the test of time is the passionate Everything You Were Meant To Be, which closes the EP.
Listening intently to this song; I presume Ben has sat and devoured the collective works of both Weller and Bragg; but then thrown them away and gone his own path. His rye observations, attention to detail and use of a melody and chorus are rare commodities these days for young British singer-songwriters; but Ben McKelvey mixes them all in a very heady post-Indie cocktail that is worthy of both those exalted songwriters.
One for the future – you heard it here first!