Boomkat Product Review:
This hugely promising debut mini-album by young singer-songwriter Eugene McGuinness comes surrounded by an awful lot of buzz - as so often these sorts of things do - but this is one of those rare instances of that hype being entirely warranted. McGuinness is far away from the dourly earnest songwriter-dom that tends to dominate the airwaves nowadays, instead tapping into various very British-sounding modes previously channelled by Ray Davies, Syd Barrett and more recently fellow Domino artists Arctic Monkeys. In fact, McGuinness exercises the same wit and observational qualities that make the Monkeys' Alex Turner such a wonderful lyricist, albeit without the Sheffielder's grasp on kitchen sink realism. McGuinness seems to favour more introverted self-analysis, delivered with a flamboyant, music hall-styled approach. There's something very end-of-the-pier about 'Vampire Casino', for instance, and recent single 'Monsters Under The Bed' has a certain circus-like quality to it, what with its carnivalesque synths and knockabout pacing. In a very different vein, the gorgeous 'Madeleine' sounds like it could be a bedroom demo of an early Rufus Wainwright song. It's haunting and utterly sombre but without ever sounding excessively sentimental. A difficult trick to pull off if ever there was one. Finally, 'A Girl Whom My Eyes Shine For But My Shoes Run From' kicks in and it it's another blinder of a pop song, coated with layers of multitracked vocals and the thinnest wisp of jangly, barely tuned guitars, it works an absolute treat. The mini-album only last around twenty-seven minutes, and you'll be hitting that play button again the minute it comes to a close. A genuinely refreshing, often startlingly sharp debut, Early Learnings is suggestive of a considerable talent in the making. More please.