George Ezra is a 24-year-old singer-songwriter with a voice decades beyond his age. In his 11-track album “Staying at Tamara’s,” released March 23,hisworn, rumbling resonance guided by raw talent produces a sound like no other.
With no hard-hitting numbers or surprising elements, the easy-going soundtrack is ideal for slow summer days.
Named after an Airbnb owner in Barcelona, “Staying At Tamara’s” is a testament to Ezra’s travels, whisking listeners away to spirited adventures sanctioned with strums, hums and youthful delight.
The single, “Paradise,” released Jan. 19, is coated with carefree indulgence that narrates a tale of young love. Similarly, “Don’t Matter Now” and “Get Away” feature lively tempos complemented by playful vocal styles. Additives like chants, joyous shouts and non-lexical utterances create a sense of quirky pep that strays from Ezra’s typical lone acoustic. These good-natured tunes make March feel like August, further bringing listeners into a warm weather, vacation mindset.
Even with complicated instrumental arrangements and miscellaneous noises, Ezra always finds his way back to a simplicity that is undeniably wholesome. The blaring trumpets and psychedelic synth make “Shotgun” a pop-rock celebration tinged with folk, which brings a groovy perspective to the album.
From happy-go-lucky to heartfelt, “Sugarcoat” and “Hold My Girl” have slower progressions that offer moments of tender companionship. Matching the atmosphere of a mid-summer barn wedding, these tracks could accompany a slideshow featuring sweet snapshots of a beloved couple.
Other ballads in the album dampen the mood. Though swaying dangerously close to the line of melancholy, “Only a Human” avoids becoming weepy with the gradual lift in spirits through verse and cadence. “The Beautiful Dream” is a declaration of love that is colored gossamer gray, like a slow-moving fog filling a void of empty space.
First Aid Kit, an airy folk duo, envelops the deep rumblings with angelic harmonies in “Saviour.” For the majority of the time, the guest vocals are merely a whisper, as if taken aback by the rich luxury of Ezra’s voice. As the song wears on, the combination of chords takes on a spiritual semblance, making the entire track feel like a transformative, religious experience.
“Staying at Tamara’s” flaunts dynamic range and capacity. Many songs frequent an ascendance: piano to forte, slow to fast and soft murmuring to a full-out bellow. Though there are repetitions that tie the tracks together, the effervescence is enough to keep listeners involved. The album is guaranteed to uplift with the optimistically sweet – but not sickly – way that Ezra delivers the hybrid genre of folk rock.