Listening to the debut EP Let Go by Thomas and The Empty Orchestra can only be described as a beautiful experience. To hear a songwriter who is fearless with what he creates is what music should be all about. He has already shown this talent in the past with singles “A More Equal Punishment,” “Patron Saint,” “Let me Begin with an Apology,” and “My Old Heart.”
Thomas and The Empty Orchestra is the project created by Thomas Matthew Bower whose influences include artists such as Paul Simon, Nick Drake, Bon Iver, and Iron & Wine, to name but a few. He has also used his love for the American emo scene to craft folk songs rich with poetic imagery. While listening to this EP it is clear that these have helped build his musical foundations.
“In The Eaves” begins this collection of songs and does so with a soothing arrangement on the acoustic guitar. When the vocals begin, they have a combination of beauty and rawness. It creates something that feels real and not an over-polished sound that you get in the world of mainstream music.
Next up is “Time Runs Out for Narcissus” with its Americana sound. It also brings a change of pace due to Bower’s guitar style as he mesmerises with his fingerpicking skills. He also shows off his way with words that include “It’s a selfish thing to wish for comfort / when comfort is all that you know / Like the world owes you some all consuming love / when you give nothing to no one.”
Thomas and The Empty Orchestra is a genuine songwriting talent
Normally artists pick the strongest songs for the front half of a release. This EP gets stronger with each track, as “Blood Moon – No Friend” shows. The vocals are compelling as usual but it is the musical arrangement that steals the spotlight. The guitar style is hypnotic which is soon joined by some great use of the tambourine. The backbeat gets your feet tapping along and when the use of the keys comes in, this magical combination is complete.
With such a strong penultimate offering, you need to end this EP right. The title track steals the show and is a great example of why Thomas and The Empty Orchestra are one to watch. Most of this song is stripped back with a simple guitar arrangement and sublime gentle vocals. It proves that less can give you so much more. It sweeps you away with its emotions as well as stunning lyrics such as “Now you’re a ghost rattling chains beneath my window / Haunt me darling, don’t you let me go.” Then as you approach the final stretch, an instrumental moment comes in to deliver an emotional punch to ensure this is one you will not forget.
Let Go EP highlights what music should be about. It is something that is created without boundaries or fear and is put together with love for the songwriting craft. Thomas and The Empty Orchestra is a true talent and deserves the praise he will receive.