I’ve been really looking forward to getting my hands on Jonny Wallis‘ debut EP ever since we collectively coaxed him into setting up a crowdfunding page to get the cash in to make it happen, so to find it hand-delivered (thanks Katie – sorry I wasn’t in to offer you a cup of tea!) when I got in from work this evening was a real treat (admittedly, the email confirming the digital download details probably spoiled the surprise a bit, but that’s okay!). Clad in a cardboard monochrome sleeve featuring an excellent shot by Dan of Ferocious Photography, I eagerly got it downloaded and synced over to my phone to get it playing.
The Year of the Fox is a reference to Jonny’s old band, 3 Eyed Fox, who I first encountered way back in 2011 – way before Ferocious Blog existed, although it did warrant a mention on my (even more) self-centred personal blog – a very short mention. By the time I started more dutifully writing about music I don’t think they were any more sadly, so I couldn’t tell you how many times I got to see them – although obviously since this platform has been available to me Jonny has featured quite a lot on my gigging roster! One musical door closes, another opens – catalysed perhaps somewhat by his occasional partnering with Brian Stone for a spot of The Fox and the Pirate.
Light the Darkness has a ludicrously catchy finger-picked riff breaking into occasional strums overlaid with initially gentle lyrics. Jonny has a wonderfully melodic voice – but then get let rip into empassioned mode too as he does in the chorus here. It’s a powerful song of togetherness, offering support to bring someone out of a dark place. It’s a lovely start, having heard it live a few times now it’s translated brilliantly to a recording – it sounds polished without losing its heart, so some credit needs to go to Electric-Bear Productions who provided the mixing and mastering. They’ve really rendered something here that sounds slick but is a great representation of what Jonny delivers live too.