Currently enjoying “Everything is New” by Jack Peñate
A few months ago, I tried to get myself into the habit of reviewing a different record on this site every week. Not necessarily a new record, of course; most of what I buy these days is actually older music that I’ve slept on. But I still felt like spreading the word about whatever I was into at the moment, in the hope that other people might get into it too. Unfortunately, I got preoccupied with a bunch of other stuff shortly after I started, as I too often do, and that was basically that.
Well, why not give it another go? I can take a little time out of each week to talk about a record I’m enjoying, right? And why not start with Everything is New by Jack Peñate, a record I’ve thoroughly been enjoying lately? Although I’ve got a feeling that he’s overplayed in his native UK, Peñate is still an unknown name in North America, which is a shame for such a catchy singer and songwriter.
To be fair, North American music fans have every right to be suspicious of a young English songwriter who writes a bunch of lyrics about love and feelings and sets them to grandiose tunes with world music tinges. On paper, I’ll admit, that doesn’t work. I’ll even go so far as to say that “Be the One,” the album’s sophomore single, is a bit too dry and laboured to count as an ideal entry point. Peñate is at his best on uptempo tracks like “So Near” and “Let’s All Die,” along with more meditative songs like “Tonight’s Today” and the title track. And the way the closer “Body Down” ends so abruptly that it leaves you wanting an encore is really a bit of a dirty trick.
It’s not the most risky or innovative record you’re going to hear this year, but it’s a good one. It sounds like it ought to be a guilty pleasure, but it’s still obscure enough in this part of the world that you can lord it over your friends when they tell you they like it and ask who it is. And really, who doesn’t love a bit of that every now and then?
Posted in Currently Enjoying