Sean Boots is no newcomer to the music scene but has been in a musical hibernation for the last few years. Emerging from his self-imposed hiatus, he brings a present of tight harmonies, catchy melodies and clever yet blunt lyrics in Amateur Hour. The six tracks of the EP bring a retro vibe to his sound while he rocks out on the piano.
While in the past he was the frontman of Seattle’s Amateur Lovers, his solo work brings a renewed fervour to his sound. After working hard throughout the pandemic, he is unleashing his new sound on our unsuspecting ears and we are really happy that he is. If you are in the mood for an EP that keeps you hooked through really engaging tracks, this is the one for you.
The EP starts on a bouncing and fun note with ‘Silver Medal’ and its foot-tapping melody. There is a retro tone to the melody that intertwines with the upbeat modern edge of his sound. Boots’ vocals are a smooth melodic line that cut through the really engaging music. While the melody has you thinking this is a really fun and upbeat track, the lyrics are a little different. Packed with situations where he comes in second-best regardless of what happens, there is a tired resignation to his performance. As an opening track, this one really sets the bar and is an outstanding introduction to his sound.
‘Halcyon Days’ has a softer feeling to the opening that leads you into a soaring guitar. The instrumentation is amazing in the opening and you just want to close your eyes and vibe to that guitar. There are a few layers to the melody that bring different emotions to the track with an indulgent guitar giving way to a niggling tone that tickles the back of your brain. This perfectly captures the story of the lyrics that contrast softness with an unease that cannot be escaped. Boots’ vocals really soar on this track as his performance rises into perfect high notes. Through his performance, you give into the good days while carrying a healthy suspicion that something will go wrong.
The piano line that opens ‘Immovable Object vs Irresistible Force’ grabs your attention without trying and really puts a smile on your face. It leads you to some matter-of-fact vocals that warn about arguing with people who defy logic. This is a message that we all need particularly when you are faced with strange arguments online. The harmonisations on this track are decadent as you can’t get enough of them. Through all of this, the melody has your head bopping to the sound before the guitar and piano have their own little argument.
‘Creative Juice’ pulls you into the track with a guitar line that cuts through your chest and vibrates in your veins. The roll of Boots’ vocals is so smooth that it slinks into your ears and settles in your brain where it cannot be shifted. As his voice settles in your soul, he plucks at creative blocks that have people questioning where all their inspiration has gone. The rise of his performance at times is like a rise of thoughts that are entirely too relatable for their own good. The chorus is catchy and you are going to be singing it long after the song has ended.
The soft piano that opens ‘Soon I’ll be Moving On’ has you floating on a lazy brook of music. The twanging tones swirl in the current of the melody before guitar notes drift down like leaves in autumn. There is such as easy vibe to this track which is a little at odds with the vocals. While you are floating on the richness of the melody, the vocals pull you into the dying breaths of a relationship. As the melody pulses, the vocals get an angrier vibe as they push against the situation. There is this really great growl that comes through on the tail end of the vocals at this point that adds that little extra edge to the emotional hit of the song.
The EP comes to a close with ‘Late to the Company Picnic’ that grabs your attention with a layered opening. There are some rock guitars under light tinkling tones that ride into an almost funky piano line. You can feel a sunny day vibe to the melody while the vocals have you lost in the feeling of having missed everything. The storytelling flow of the lyrics paints a clear picture that you can easily step into whether you have been to a company picnic before or not.
Sean Boots has you instantly hooked to his sound through the storytelling lyrics, engaging melodics and smooth vocals of Amateur Hour. Through the tracks of the EP, he shows that he is anything but an amateur and hits you with a mature and extremely enthralling sound. Each song has a clear message wrapped up in the emotions he so easily pushes through in his performance. This is easily an EP that you can put on at any time when you need to get lost in the world of the artist.