Arms & Hearts - 'The Jaded Captain' EP Review
Hailing from the small town of Northwich, Arms & Hearts sees singer/songwriter Steve Millar leave behind the role of backing singer for a more prominent place in the spotlight. Releasing his second EP ‘Set In Stone’ late last year, Steve has seen his music gain coverage from the likes of Punktastic and Bring The Noise, as his second outing was a sure success. Between continuous DIY tours and a move to Manchester to brave a new life, a lot has changed in a short space of time for Steve. A big move and a change in routine has inspired him to pick up his guitar for a two track EP, ‘The Jaded Captain’.
Having been a fan of Steve and his creation Arms & Hearts for some time now, the opportunity to review this new 2 song release is one I couldn't pass. ‘The Jaded Captain’ sees him bring to life ‘Empty Frequency’ which has been a fan favourite at his shows ever since its debut. The track tackles Steve's move to a major city and the illusions many have with it, as well as the isolation that can come with living between two places. Steve described the song as being written about "A time of despondency, where I felt that living between two homes and starting a new life procured a sense of loneliness.” So how does the song measure up? To get straight to the point 'Empty Frequency' is beautifully written. Steve's voice is powerful, incredibly emotive and so very raw, all the while being complimented with the stripped back feel of his acoustic guitar. The same energy that I feel when watching him live is felt throughout the song.
The B-Side of the EP sees another live favourite come to life on record for the first time. This time it is ‘Troubled Minds and Bloodshot Eyes’ and again the song is about a time of change for Steve: “That song for me is a realisation that I love what I do, even if it isn't always easy, as well as feeling apathetic to putting lots of work into something and not seeing the instant return.” And much like the 'Empty Frequency' I find myself lost in the strength of his lyrics, his honesty of how he is feeling and where he currently stands in this crazy world we live in. It allows for a connection that only a few artists achieve. Accompanied by a hauntingly beautiful harmonica throughout I quite simply love this song.
'The Jaded Captain' may only be 2 songs long. But you'll find more on this upcoming release than you will on many full album releases currently gracing the charts. You'd be a fool not to check it out. I believe his future is incredibly bright and can't wait to see what happens next. Watch this space.
Photo - Friswell Photography
Bandcamp - http://armsandhearts.bandcamp.com