Normal Behaviour – Normal Behaviour (2022)

Finding closure and tying up the loose ends in our lives is something we should all look at doing. Through the vulnerable lyrics of his debut self-titled album, Normal Behaviour is looking to do just that. Normal Behaviour is an EP packed with love, loss, grief and the painful journey that is moving on from the negative moments of life. Using acoustic folk tones, he moves through making wishes, old relationships and whirlwind beginnings.

While Guy Challenger, the man behind the music, may be better known for fronting 100 Acre Wolf, this new solo project brings a different sound to our ears. The acoustic tones bring a deeper intimacy and emotional depth while drawing on inspiration from Daniel Johnston, Noah and the Whale and Keaton Henson. Recorded at home, he swirls personal tales into the melancholic yet energetic flows of the tracks.

The EP opens with ‘Librarian’ and the gentle strum of the guitar. Through the lyrics, the track considers making wishes and how they can get lost in the movement of the world if you don’t take the time to chase them. The use of oceanic imagery is wonderful as it brings a unique spin to this consideration. Challenger’s vocals are smooth yet emotively powerful as he calls out against the acoustic guitar-driven melody. There is a misty feeling to his performance that tinges the song with melancholy and the loss of the dreams that give us something to look forward to. There is a deep message woven into the track that perfectly sets the contemplative tone of the EP.

‘Prehistoric Weather’ moves away from internal considerations and looks instead at old relationships. There is a slightly more upbeat vibe to the music as the strummed guitar has a little bounce to the movement. This is contrasted by the vocals that have a very sombre and sad edge to them. There is a tiredness woven into the vocals as they detail a relationship where the couple is never on the same page. Into this, Challenger has woven the affection you hold for the other people and sprinkles the understanding that things can’t continue as they are. It is a really sad song but there is also this feeling of something good running through the lower levels.

The guitar-driven melody of ‘Skeletons and Ghostwriters’ draws you into the single with a swaying movement. This track feels more stripped back than the others allowing the story of the lyrics to really shine. The vocals effortlessly pull you into the story of the lyrics which look at someone who writes down everything that happens in other people’s lives without thinking about their own. The melancholy that has been a staple throughout the EP hits a little harder in this track. It is interesting because the melancholy touches your own experiences but also the emptiness of the ghostwriter who cares only for what others are doing.

The EP comes to a close with ‘Pinball Girl’ which brings the collection to a close on a happier note. The floating feeling to the vocals adds a tenderness to the song that has you sinking back and sighing with relaxation. While the music is gentle and the vocals tender, the lyrics tell a whirlwind story of falling in love. The rolling waves of the guitar are so gentle as they offer depth to the affectionate emotions of the vocals. At times, the melody seems to reach down and gain richness that brings a plush feeling to the soundscape. You can’t listen to this song and not feel your chest fill with love and affection.

Normal Behaviour uses four acoustic tracks to take you from melancholy to lost dreams, old relationships and deep affection in his self-titled EP Normal Behaviour. Each track has a stripped-back flow that adds power to the emotive vocals. You can feel the care he has taken with each track as they flow through your veins and have you sinking into the emotions they invoke.

Find out more about Normal Behaviour on his Instagram and Spotify.

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