Every day we all feel a range of emotions that can seem isolating but are really universal. Through the five tracks of East of it All, HereToFore dives into different topics that are relevant to our daily lives and brings the emotions connected with them to the fore. Using a warm and organic sound, each track offers a unique vibe that combines to create an authentic and cohesive message.
To connect with the emotions of the tracks, Justin Jay, the man behind the music, recorded the EP in a raw and organic manner with as little electronics as possible. This led to the core band playing together on the studio floor and resulted in an EP that rather wonderfully mimics a live performance. With a touch of old-school sensibilities wrapped around the folk-rock sounds of HereToFore, the EP is one that really stands out from the crowd.
The EP opens with ‘Dot the I’s’ and its rather irresistible guitar line that effortlessly leads you into the flowing melody. The drums have you swaying to their rhythm while the guitar twangs through your brain. Jay’s vocals have a delightful country twang that brings an earthy feeling to the track before calling out with a touch of rock. The easy flow of the track has you sinking into the vibes of the music while the vocals draw you close. The guitar riffs and solos are wonderful and settle in your soul while the lyrics have you feeling a companionable arm around your shoulders.
‘Yesterday’s Mind’ twangs into life with a very different vibe to the opening track but is just as easy to fall into. The paced rhythm of the track has your foot tapping to the rhythm. The swing in the melody from the paced tones to the hazy floating flow is amazing. The strings during this hazy flow wrap around you like string and pull you up into the rise of the horns. There are so many instruments coming together in the melody for a bright and uplifting melody. This upliftment is enhanced by the vocals that leave you feeling stronger after listening.
The zipping opening of ‘One Car’ grabs your attention before you are thrown into a heavier country vibe. This track has a really earthy feeling that is a change from the rest of the EP. The harmonising vocals add to this feeling and make you want to sing along. The band’s versatility is on show with this track as it moves through various flows and brings a sadder feeling. Through the story of the lyrics, you feel a sense of being forgotten only to realise that this might be a good thing as it leads to something better and unexpected.
‘Never Enough’ jangles and twangs through your senses with an expansive feeling. You can almost see the heat rising off the desert sands as the guitars twang through the soundscape and the drums push your senses. The vocals call out to you from the horizon bringing a question that eats away at many people. There is a heavier rock vibe to this track that combines with the country stylings for a hard-hitting track that is irresistible. The chorus has moments where you need to shout out with the band while contemplating the lyrics.
The EP comes to a close with ‘Next in Line’ that has a more acoustic feeling to the opening. The strings that stir in the background are mournful while the guitar pushes an isolated early morning feeling through you. The vocals have a pained and sad feeling to them as they call out with everything that is left unsaid. The melody swings into a more melodic flow while the strings continue to weave sadness through the soundscape. While there is a deep sadness to this track, it is tempered by a feeling of brightness for the future.
HereToFore weaves the entire spectrum of emotion into the tracks of East of It All while showcasing their musicality. Each track is unique but there is a thread of emotion and storytelling that connects them into a cohesive unit. The earthiness of the music touches something deep in your chest while the country twang of the vocals calls to your soul with an expansive vibe.