S J Denney has been unveiling his new EP piece by piece this year and the finished product is ‘Forgotten Friends’. It’s a six track release that shows a new side to Denney’s music and represents some of his finest work to date.
‘Here I Am’ is a mid-tempo track that is a great introduction to the full release. It was the first single to be released earlier this year and is full of wonderful instrumentation. It’s a relaxed track that is centered around soft acoustic guitars, a warming cello and an empowering trumpet solo.
‘(Feels Like I’m…) Hearing Things’ is the second track on the EP and it represents a variation in genre. Denney expressed his opinion on his new material stating that he views it as ‘folk-plus’. This track definitely fits that description with its distinctive chord progression in the verses and a catchy chorus.
‘All The Signs Were There’ is track three on the release and for me, it’s definitely the strongest. It was released earlier this year in the run up to the EP and it’s just as impressive as it was then. It’s a modern pop-rock track with a folk edge. Denney’s vocals feel right at home on songs like this and the production is brilliant. The chorus will stay inside your head and the country-esque guitar riff will definitely give you a feel-good feeling. Rising singer/songwriter Roisin O’Hagan features on a few of the tracks on the EP and they enhance this one especially.
‘Forgotten Friends’ is the hidden track/ending to ‘All The Signs Were There’. It’s a soft acoustic track that breaks up the full release in a fantastic and unique way. It’s a heartfelt song that is backed by piano and cello, perfectly fitting for Denney’s expression.
‘The Good Times’ is another track that was kept back for the EP release. It fits well with ‘(Feels Like I’m…) Hearing Things’ in the way that it mixes contemporary folk elements with pop music. Despite its title, ‘The Good Times’ has a dark sound about it but is a very likeable track that stands out on the EP.
‘Where Darkness Hides’ is another track where Denney’s vocals stand out the most, as well O’Hagan’s harmonies. It fits well with the rest of the EP and is almost two songs in one. Where the verses are mysterious, the chorus has a strong commercial factor about it. As well as the vocals, clean electric guitars and impressive percussion help to enhance this track.
‘A Fond Farewell’ is not only a fitting title to bring this release to a close, it’s also the most personal track on the EP. It’s mellow, acoustic based and features light percussion to back everything up.
Overall, ‘Forgotten Friends’ is a strong release that represents a shift in style for S J Denney. It’s clear that his lyrics are getting deeper, more heartfelt and intriguing. There is still plenty to follow from Denney this year and plans are already taking shape for his next release.
Listen to the full EP below and check out our live session for ‘All The Signs Were There’ above. Be sure to follow S J Denney online here.