Johnny Lloyd of the extremely Camden band Tribes returns with an album of folk inflected indie rock that is tender and raw. Next Episode Starts in 15 Seconds tackles the sort of millennial malaise its title suggests with assuredness. Lloyd was given a bit of help by Eton boy Frank Turner. Released on Xtra Mile.
Vinyl LP £15.99 XMR149LP
Black vinyl LP on Xtra Mile.
Vinyl LP £14.44 XMR149LP
Limited edition, indies only clear vinyl LP on Xtra Mile.
- Coloured vinyl
CD £9.49 XMR149CD
CD on Xtra Mile.
The debut LP by X singer-songwriter Johnny Lloyd is a quarter-pleasing ten-song collection of wistful, slightly saccharine songs about lost love, love, self-love, and more love (starting to see a theme?). The best thing I can say about this LP is that in places it carries some genuine emotion, such as the yearning lyricism of ‘I’ll Be Me’ or the accomplished finger-picking of ‘Sell Me Some Destruction’.
Too often, however, does this album submit itself to cliche and humbug generally. Nowhere is this evidenced more than on ‘Mass Shooting’ where there are lyrics like ‘Don’t blame it on the kids’ or ‘No machine-gun is gonna bring back your mum’ or ‘don’t blame it on the children’. I mean come on dude, talk about spoon-feeding. These songs are adolescent in the worst way possible.
I’m not sure quite why this album has been allowed to be made. Redeeming moments are far and few between, but I do get the sense that there’s some nugget of songcraft hidden beneath the layers of meaningless lyrics and hackneyed guitar lines so maybe in a few album’s time ‘Johnny’ will start writing some better songs. I doubt it though.
9/10 Rob 10th May 2019
I really love this album. There are so many good songs here and the vocal performances are great throughout, sometimes delivered in rich understated style with lush emotive harmonies, others upper register and soul-felt. The arrangements vary from full band collaborations ( the gorgeous “I Need Help”) to just stripped bare voice, acoustic and harmonica (e.g. “Fix”) but always with really interesting lyrics and a wonderful acoustic driven vibe. Johnny Lloyd has a way with words. And given where the album was recorded - sleeve note: “in kitchens and living rooms in North London” - the sound and vibe of this lovely album is all the more remarkable. Expertly recorded and mixed - hats off to the Producer - and of course it didn’t do any harm that the whole thing was mastered by the legendary Frank Arkwright at Abbey Road. Stand out tracks include “I Need Help”, the beautiful “Pacific Hymn”, second single “Rich and Poor”, “Fix” and “Forced Therapy”. If there’s a criticism it’s that the songs tend to be too short! This really is an album worth checking out.
9/10 Lily Halliday 5th May 2019
So so beautiful and relaxing. This album combines Johnny's enchanting voice with great instrumentals which only make the songs more emotional (at least for me anyway). The lyrics are relevant to the time but I would never think to describe them as cheesy or cliche like many songs similar. My only complaint would be that some of the songs are a little similar. For example the melody to 'Modern Pornography' and 'Mass Shooting' resemble each other a little. This is the first time I have listened to Johnny LLoyd's music and I am thoroughly impressed.
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