Words: ROBIN MUMFORD
If there was one musician in 2022 that has seeped through the cracks to stir a figurative anticipation within the Our Sound Music community, it is Liam Dutch. For months now, we’ve heard snippets of what’s to come from the Southern China-based Englishman, and with our lips whetted by his fusion of British guitar rock and vocal lustre, we are presented with his sensational debut EP ‘Melancholy Junction’.
While it features previous single releases ‘Settle Down’ and ‘What’s Your Problem?’, we already expected a magnificent full production from the UK’s finest Asian export. What the melodic, self-reflexive first single lacked in attitude was made up for in the second, with the couple of standalone pieces complementing each other flawlessly.
The only problem with Dutch’s first two singles is that the quality of both lugged the weight of the world onto his shoulders to produce a whole collection that maintained the consistent calibre of those mentioned. It would be easy to get complacent in Dutch’s position, but whereas some more celebrated musicians may be obliged to take their foot off the gas, Wonder PR’s very own superstar refuses to stagnate.
As accentuated by the title track, Liam Dutch is here for the long haul. ‘Melancholy Junction’ is a brooding and reflective anthem that showcases his fully-fledged song writing through the stitching of Alex Turner-Esque vocals and ballads that are reminiscent of Richard Ashcroft’s finest artwork.
Much like a lot of modern-day musicians, the EP is a culmination of Dutch’s post-covid output. Of the showpiece track ‘Trapdoor’, which sees Liam at his arcane best, he says: “I wrote it in the garden a few years ago...I think lyrically it will resonate with a lot of people. It’s one of those (songs) I want people to interpret how they want.”
“It initially started as a synth sound when I first demoed the track but when I was in the studio with Colin Farley (Cutting Crew), it became apparent quite early that adding the strings would give it a certain romance.”
Of course, ‘Felicity’ shouldn’t be overlooked as it is the perfect midway point of the EP that provides listeners with a harmony that is enough to make anyone twitch their feet in the direction of the music. But ‘Trapdoor’ leads us to the climax of the EP, with the sixth and final track ‘Coalesce’ being the quintessential curtain closer on a masterpiece debut production that ebbs and flows in the same vein as a perfect night out.
In the timeline of events, ‘Coalesce’ brings a close to proceedings with a deceleration in pace. In essence, it is the ‘Angels’ by Robbie Williams of the night. Everyone slowly gets prepared to say their goodbyes to other guests while steadily dancing from side to side and joining in with the chorus.
Polishing off a lesson in musical brilliance, the sixth track will leave fans wanting more, just as they did after the first two standalone releases earlier in the year. The anticipation that circles Liam Dutch like vultures is seemingly eternal, and ‘Melancholy Junction’ is exactly what we had hoped it would be.