Before Andrew Phelan was making waves as part of Vancouver band The River and The Road, he was a by-standard of the oceanic currents in his hometown of Sydney, Australia. Like most aspiring musicians, Phelan put out a solo EP, entitled Fillies, to get his feet wet and test out both his actual and lyrical voice.
Originally released in 2010, Phelan re-released the EP late last year to commemorate the 5 year anniversary of his move to Vancouver. In many ways then, Fillies is a beginning. It’s timid with emotions and inexperience but rich with passion and a keenness to both experience life and put it into song.
Phelan himself describes the EP to us as “a throwback to a different period of writing” and it is much different to The River and The Road’s more biting lyricism – particularly as heard on 2015’s Headlights. In its personal, female-centred, lyricism and minimal guitar use, Fillies is reminiscent of early City and Colour albums. Opener and EP highlight “Troubled Times” is a breezy tale of young, frightened, love that fades in time and eventually comes to end. This love, or better yet lust, pops up again as an enigma in “Overhead” and in the lulling rhythmic guitar picking of “Sinking Ships.” Even in the lyrical haze of closer “Watering Hole,” Phelan returns to this girl, summarizing much of the intent of this recording when he sings: “so on my way out, I’ll remember to write you a song.”
Go back to the start with Andrew Phelan. Fall in and out of love, stumble, get back up, and know the future is bright.
Top Track: “Troubled Times”
Rating: Young Hoot (Decent)