With his second solo release, Jack Norbury is delving into some heavy and sometimes dark topics. Catching the Light brings a sweet innocence that is washed by atmospheric darkness in truly captivating tracks. From looking at insomnia to being used by someone you love and trying to live up to high expectations, the EP offers a little something for everyone to relate to.
While you might know Norbury from The Celadors, his venture as a solo artist leans heavily on indie-folk sounds. Through his music, he looks to offer a companionable arm around your shoulders and the comfort that comes from knowing you are not alone. With weighted lyrics that make you want to confess your darkest fears, Norbury eases something deep inside.
The EP opens with ‘It’s 4am’ which brings a feeling of the early morning to your ears through the acoustic guitar. This is tempered by a pained warble in the vocals as the lyrics touch on insomnia. The humming of the instrumentation in the lower levels creates an echoing cavern of endless wakefulness and the dark emotions this can bring. The movement of Norbury’s vocals is extremely emotive as he brings a sense of frustration and pleading for the bliss of sleep after bouts of insomnia. The pleading in his vocals tugs at your heart.
‘Run Away’ has a softer feeling to the melody than the opening track. While the melody has a tenderness to it that fills you with the gentle flows of love, the lyrics have a much sadder tale to tell. There is an uptick in the movement of the melody as the guitar jangles through you and has your foot tapping to its rhythm. The bouncing feeling of the melody brings the buoyancy of emotions to sonic life while you sink into being used by someone you love. There is a sad realisation woven into the music but this is artfully tempered with the brightness of having felt love.
Norbury’s takes a more grounded turn with ‘Thinking of Her’. The melody has an earthy feeling to it with just a touch of alt-country resting in the movements. You can easily imagine Norbury playing his guitar while sitting on a stool and singing about having fallen in love with the wrong person. The humming harmonising creates a companionable feeling to the music like other people fully understanding what you are going through. There is a slightly wistful feeling to his vocals at times as he considers everything that could have been.
The EP comes to a close with ‘Spider in Your Bathtub’ which moves away from love and toward something a bit more existential. The melody sends shivers through you before Norbury’s vocals tug at your chest. There is a whispered twilight to the song that perfectly highlights the lyrics. Through the use of beautiful and detailed imagery, he fills you with having to live up to someone’s expectations and feeling like you are failing. This is possibly the heaviest track on the EP that touches on something that most people do not want to bring into the light of day.
Jack Norbury works through heavy topics in the folk flows of his EP Catching the Light. Through the four tracks, he tackles insomnia, loving the wrong person, being used and trying to meet high expectations. Each track tugs at something deep in your chest while shedding light and easing the things that try to pull you down.