Richard Walters - Two Birds EP


Richard Walters is a singer who has been bubbling away for a while. He’s produced and performed absolutely beautiful acoustic and folk songs for a decade, but I couldn’t help but feel he hadn’t hit the levels that were within his reach – that is until I was sent his new record, Two Birds EP (released under Beard Museum on 26th August). There are few things as good as a brilliant EP, and this is one of the best I’ve listened to for a while. It’s broad grins, lip wobbles and soul – all in 4 tracks.

The opening track from the EP ‘The Letter’ is available to listen to now, and represents a three-minute encapsulation of what Richard is so good at. It is honest; heart wrenching, but satisfying and surprisingly un-depressing. Then comes ‘Dead End Lover’ – a tale of self-deprecation and romance. Here we see the introduction of some very effective and dramatic drums, it is also on this song that the quality of production becomes very obvious.

Richard has spoken of the revelation of recording his last album without outside forces breathing down his neck – free to relax and make it the way he wanted. Two Birds EP feels like it has used that as a foundation and confidently marched on. All four songs sound absolute brilliant. There are subtle synths flowing through the verses, and a meatiness to the production that makes listening extremely satisfying.

The third song is where you’ll start smiling. ‘When You Gonna Come Back’ is a soul inspired track, over which Walters exhibits the versatility and strength of his very unique voice. A cleverly composed drum section helps provide groove to a song that feels brilliantly and appropriately out of kilter with the rest of the EP.

The curtain closes with ‘Rules For Lovers’, which concludes a miniature adventure. It is a dramatic song with a build-up that leaves you slightly out of breath. This song highlights one of the things that Richard Walters does exceptionally well - incorporating interesting electronic sounds that feel appropriate. This is not an easy thing to do in acoustic or folk music, but highlights the touch of class that Walters has.

Richard Walters is touring the UK in November. These include a date in hometown Oxford on the 30th and a show in Kensington United Reformed Church on the 29th.