Recently, British singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Martin Paul Cuthew released his new EP called “Erosion & Evolution” which features five handcrafted wisdom-soaking tracks circling aorund the theme of needing to make a change, loss of what we used to have, personal growth and acceptance of what one cannot change. All in all, it’s a work that for me triggers self-reflection while presenting the topic with a balanced mix of melody, groove, and musical curiosity. Let’s have an insight look at the tracks, shall we.
Being about trapped in the corporate system, working for “The Man”, and dreaming of getting out and living a simpler life, “The Machine” uses an interesting mix of synth textures merging with handmade instruments, and harmonized vocals. Done with a blend of both relaxing segments and energetic passages, the track pictures the day-by-day struggle which in my opinion also has its ups and downs, its stop signs and green lights. (And you just gotta love the harmonies of the chorus of the song.)
Dealing with anxiety and depression, “Don’t Let Fear Win” uses both energetic outbursts and vulnerable melodies to create a general moodset that switches seamlessly between “relaxed” and “on-the-edge”. In a way, the tune feels like a friend taking you by the hand, and showing you that everything that frightens you, can atually have a good side as well. The important message of the tune is carried with acknowledging the fact that those feelings happen, and offering a way out at the same time. I really like the feelable positive energy the tune contains.
“Snaphots (Never Knowing)” has a very vulnerable and fragile approach through a very slow rhythmic concept, along emotional vocals essentially telling about life being short and unpredictable. I love the relatable core of the message. We all try to make the best out of our lives, right. And once again Cuthew has a signature way of conceding the difficulties and problems. For me, the tune tells me that we try our best ever day, and that is indeed enough. We never know what life will be down the road. Although this is totally up to each and every listener, for me this track is the most emotional one of the whole EP.
With the next tune, Cuthew grants an unexpected honest look into his soul, as he describes a job situation he experienced. I was stunned about the similarities we humans seem to have without really knowing. I’m sure that “Holding On” speaks out of the hearts and souls of oh-so-many out there. With those signature styled flowing melodies that get that this little energetic nudge through the guitars and assertive vocals, the track tells about a (let’s call it) maturing process, about dealing with situations and learning about oneself through experience and hard learned lessons.
And then there’s the last track on the EP called “Weight of the Stone”. Being about carrying a heavy weight everywhere you go, and about learning how to not allow that to drag you down, the track tells its story with a resting but dense drive. The calm vocals get an extraordinary melancholic texture into the tune that blends surprisingly well with the backing, which in fact contains a lot of energetic elements in form of guitar solos, grinding percussion and a straightforward drum concept. Overall, the tune is a well-placed roundup for the EP, beause it brings a certain ‘at peace’ vibe to the table.
Long story short, the EP is an outstanding emotional work. Martin Paul Cuthew managed to deliver emotion and passion in a way that doesn’t feel too melancholic, and the topics are handled with the exact amount of respect needed. A lot of heart, soul, and personal experience went into these tracks, and it absolutely shows. Therefore, the EP can be seen as a multitalent: it’s an advisor, a friend, a mentor, a storybook, and a guide. It opens your eyes about feelings, and it does so in a unobtrusive and not too melancholic manner, garnered with those signature style elements that are typical for Cuthew’s work.
Find the whole EP here: Martin Paul Cuthew – Erosion & Evolution