Production? Who needs it! That’s the message behind Pompey’s Short Songs EP. The whole EP runs to a total of seven and a half minutes, and that all comes courtesy of an iphone and a guitar. Yep, it’s the 21st century. Deal with it.
The songs are short, as you might guess from the album title. And, as the stereotype is want to imply, they are indeed sweet songs. Love is thick on every string, as Pompey plucks through four tracks of simple stories — one person speaking to another, the sound of traffic flowing past in the background of every word. If you always dreamed about the poor man’s Nick Drake, dream no longer: the picking style and soft, wavering, high vocals elicit mellow portraits of emotion, with no amplification or distortion of the sound to get in the way of the flowing song.
This review will be appropriately short, but let me say one more thing: “Bird’s Eye” is the kind of song every artist should want to write. The subject peers out into the sky, while speaking to his partner in a moment of tenderness, matched by a guitar that presses the drama of the moment. I’m reminded of the directness and pure illustration that Mississippi John Hurt provided to me, once upon a time, from a cassette tape played on a car ride to Comox, BC; sometimes it’s the basic recordings to fill up our minds with imaginative structures. As Pompey sings it out, I can see the bird’s eye. I hope you see it too.
Top Track: “Bird’s Eye”
Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good)