Ferris & Sylvester - Made In Streatham EP
Due to the Ny-Lon sessions overrunning the day we were scheduled to see Ferris & Sylvester at C2C, we arrived only in time to see their last few songs, but even on the evidence of those we were sufficiently intrigued to dig out their recently released "Made In Streatham" EP which by the time of C2C had already been streamed over a million times!
For those yet to come across Issy Ferris and Archie Sylvester they have already released one EP "The Yellow Line" produced by legendary producer Youth who wisely just gave Ferris & Sylvester the space in which to create, something they have developed further for this latest EP.
"Made In Streatham" is named funnily enough after where they live contains observations of their day to day life and starts with the mightily impressive "Better In Yellow". It opens with two drumsticks counting the song in and then opens up into a minor pop classic that is effortlessly likeable. It is beautifully recorded and seems to have a big sound while at the same time using a minimal number of instruments, all of which are clear in the mix. It is the addition of the trumpet that really lifts the track along with the inventive guitar work that gives it a good time party feel.
"Sometimes" by contrast opens initially with just Issy singing to an acoustic guitar. There are then occasional appearances from a piano which plays a repeated riff throughout the song, a double bass, some drums and once again some interesting guitar work. which all come together for the final choruses of "Sometimes I forget where I am when I am with you" to great effect making the song really build.
"The Room" opens with a definite Americana feel with its harmonica but lyrically could not be more London centric with its open couplet "We rent a room down in Streatham Hill above the Barber's shop". In many ways it paints quite a bleak a picture in contrast to the jaunty chorus with its plea for help "Give us something good we can hold onto". it covers the day to day problems of unemployment and unpaid bills and the short term vision is just "to be gone from this room".
"Loser" is another seemingly deceptively simple tune whose chorus is built around the lyrical twist between "Loser" and "Lose Her" as it reveals the breakdown of a relationship where the man is clearly to blame. The lyrics are so attention grabbing that only towards the end do you notice how much the instrumentation has ramped up throughout the song.
The closing track "London Blues" once again has the feel of an Americana tune while lyrically being centred in London. Opening with some finger clicking and humming giving it an almost gospel feel. There then follows little vignettes such as the man "buying "pills for his wife and powders for his honey". Once again the trumpet reappears to give an almost jazzy end to the track. The final moments of the EP are the sound of applause at the playback possibly - any why not - this is a brilliant example of how to make a lot from seemingly little. The instrumentation is exceptionally well chosen and recorded as are the vocals on this extremely high quality EP.