This Is How It Ends is the debut EP for acoustic duo Forever Young. Dan Powe and Oscar Wenman-Hyde, both based in Devon, are probably counting on the popularity of folk bands like Mumford and Sons to give themselves a boost, but rather than edging onto folksy territory, Forever Young present a very honest, simple acoustic performance.
The EP kicks off with This Is How Ends, a track displaying the duo’s beautiful guitar tone, in a retro, early 2000s Californian style. This (and the following two songs) is the soundtrack to alternate with Ben Howard when you’re at bonfire beach, cradling a Corona while staring at your ex across the flames. Or whatever the city in winter equivalent of this might be…the final hours of a house party perhaps? The soft lyrics and simplicity of the acoustics allows your own experiences to overtake that of the band – something that is all too often overlooked in song writing.
Carrying on from this is Nothing Else To Say. These lyrics aren’t the most poetically valid in the music industry, but this oddly adds to how easy to listen to this EP is. They’re telling stories in a relatable and empathetic manner; we’re not overwhelmed with the specificities of these relationships and experiences. Good Souls is the point in the EP where the duo seem to have realised the strength of the simple. It’s a perfect track for anyone trying to deny the rebirth of feelings towards someone. The repetition of “I just can’t seem to forget about you anymore” has a Frightened Rabbit sense about it.
The final track is probably the low point of this selection. Not Wanting To Fall relies much more on vocals than the others and, unfortunately, they aren’t strong enough to stand up the whole song with a guitar. This is the one case where I really believe that full band would have truly benefitted the duo, and as a lover of acoustic music, this is tough for me to admit. Melodies, too, would have brought this song to a new level and made a much more resonating impact, as you would expect the final song to give you.
Overall, it is a competent and thoughtful debut. The acoustic nature of the band is, excepting Not Wanting To Fall, skilfully used as a powerful tool to separate from the over-produced albums that all too often dominate this genre. Definitely bring this one travelling – it’s a grower.
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