Campbell Sibthorpe realised that music was his true passion while working as a cleaner in 2017. He swapped his broom for instruments and has since supported acts such as The Staves while releasing his self-produced music. Following a steady release run, his latest offering is his long-awaiting EP Ytown.
The album is a compelling journey through the small English village he was raised in. Each track tells a different story from an ardent ode to youth to the feeling of driving out of the town for the last time. Using lush harmonies and his unique energy, Sibthorpe takes you on a magical adventure through a noteworthy story.
The album starts with the short track ‘The Sun Appeared’. The song draws you in with a distorted opening that gives way to folk vocals. There is something peaceful about the vocals and the melody that follows. The inclusion of birds chirping in the background adds to this feeling.
‘Father Carpenter’ opens with vocals to set the scene of this song. There is a driving beat to this track that gets your head moving to the rhythm. The soaring electric guitar lines create this almost dreamy vibe that is echoed by the harmonisations. The lyrics of this song are relatable even if you did not grow up in a small village. There is something wistful about this song that gives you goosebumps.
‘Pastel Porcelain’ has a more traditional folk opening with an acoustic guitar gently leading you into the song. Sibthorpe’s vocals channel the energy of a chilly morning that has the potential to turn into something exquisite. His performance transports you to a misty morning in one of the most moving tracks on the album.
‘Good Lord’ captivates you from the first second with some powerful vocals. This track takes you through a range of emotions starting with soaring freedom. You are then led to a contemplation of what is happening and introspection of what you are feeling. There is a hopeful feeling to this song, but it is also tinged with a melancholy highlighted by the slower musical sections.
‘Dandelion’ is the most folk sounding song on the EP. There is a lightness to this song that combines with the acoustic guitar melody to relax you. While this lightness is relaxing, there is something imploring in the track which comes in with the violin and piano. At that point, the song invokes those feelings of realising that you have become complacent and wanting to break out of that.
‘Strawberry Line, Pt. 1’ draws you in with a leading opening that is like a gentle brook of piano notes. There are some crashing notes that disturb the surface, but this only adds to the vibe of the track. This instrumental track is like a pink dawn breaking over the horizon broken only by thoughts of the day to come.
The last track is ‘Strawberry Lane, Pt. 2’ which has a much darker vibe to it than the rest of the songs. The sadness in this song sets the sun on the tale ‘The Sun Appeared’ began. Considering the theme of the album, it is an emotive and poignant way to close the EP. It is also a short track like the opening one but is as emotive and gripping as any other.
Campbell Sibthorpe takes you on a full journey in his ode to youth Ytown. The EP explores different experiences of adolescence in an expansive storytelling format that is like a musical book. Each song awakens emotions you might have left in your own childhood while connecting you to Sibthorpe’s creative energy.