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Broken Flowers - 'So Many Shadows' EP Review

Track List:

1. Stephens Song

2. Easy On Me

3. Anywhere

4. Right About Now

5. I Saw A Light

6. Sunday Morning - Demo

Yorkshire wouldn't seem like a likely place to find music infused with the sounds of Nashville and Country music, but it's perhaps time that we started looking towards 'God's country' (no pun intended).

York itself is the home to the graveled larynx of Boss Caine, a song singing troubadour in the style of Townes Van Zandt, and a damn fine job he's been doing of keeping the essence of Country-infused music burning. Hop on a short train ride from there to Leeds and you will find yourself in the presence of another set of musicians that tip a nod of their stetsons westward.

Broken Flowers are a four piece that hail from Leeds, and draw from the Americana well with a hefty sheen of Rock thanks to their songwriting skills and abilities, the nice crunch of a Les Paul guitar working with the more delicate harmonies of the songs. Their second EP, "So Many Shadows", draws across a wide variety of influences to make for an interesting listen.

Opener 'Stephen's Song' catches you by surprise, all drum loops with guitars and bass slowly rising through the mix. Anna Mosley's vocals are powerful in the right places, swooping in and kicking the song up a gear when it needs it.

'Easy On Me' follows up and shimmers along, perfect for a Summer's day. A brief middle eight breaks down into a great, almost funk-like section that shows some great chops by guitarist Darren Gibbs. 'Anywhere' is another great example of their craft, the breakdown and subsequent build up by the band suggests stadium sized choruses and sing alongs.

Things slow down a bit for 'Right About Now' opening with the chorus "Right about now I should be kissing you, right about now I shouldn't have to be missing you" delivered in such a way by Anna that your heart doesn't just break for her, it completely shatters before Darren drops a solo worthy of any guitar hero.

There is only one way to describe the track 'I Saw The Light' (where the EP takes it's title from) and that's epic. It draws from events at Huskar Pit in the West Riding of Yorkshire where, in 1838, twenty six children drowned in an underground flood, two of whom were ancestors of singer Anna. As she explains " it's also a comment, still relevant today, on the greed that drives the rich to find more leaving the poor to face extremes in a bid to evade less." The track itself moves away a bit from the country feel of most of the album and employs a break down part way through the song that reminds me of Nottingham's finest folk-punks Ferocious Dog, another band that talk a lot of their mining heritage whilst exploring Folk roots music. It's certainly an amazing song, matching Rock guitars with mandolins, bells and a chilling child's voice.

A demo of track 'Sunday Morning' closes of the EP in fine upbeat style but still can't quite shake off the shadow of the previous song. It's a good song, but suffers a little with it's placement.

Broken Flowers are certainly worth keeping an eye on. Once they find a full balance between their country trappings and their own musical style they could truly be a musical force to be reckoned with.

Review - Scott Hamilton

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