Nick Ellis 'Grace & Danger' Review

Jimmy Coultas gets to grips with eight tracks of Spring beckoning folk.

Jimmy Coultas

Last updated: 21st Apr 2016.
Originally published: 20th Apr 2016

Image: Nick Ellis

Liverpool troubadour Nick Ellis' latest EP has seen him create eight tracks of bluesy foreboding folk, all recorded in one evening studio session in the city's most renowned musical landmark St Georges Hall. The result is a real local affair, with the former Maybes frontman's EP pushed out on Mellowtone for a lovely peer into the underbelly of the city.

'A Walk through the city' is a self explanatory ode to his home, an afternoon stroll that depicts "people shouting at their telly" and "shops selling them things they've already got", the humming instrumentation adding a lacquer of charm to what could otherwise be an overly acerbic riposte.

Elsewhere the dating game is covered via 'Cooler than Cupid' with a similar snark towards our daily life cropping up on 'The Grand Illusion'. Ellis' voice manages to capture the standard hallmarks of northern singers, the sharp withering assessments on life balanced out with a wistful romance to every vowel and syllable, but the real star of the show is the musicianship he conveys.

It's best demonstrated on the two instrumental offerings, 'The Lovefish' and album closer 'She moved through the morning'. It's here that the decision to record in St Georges really comes to fruition, the nature of the room adding earthy textures to the sound that simply wouldn't be possible in any other studio. 

Nick Ellis launches his EP in Liverpool at Leaf on Thursday 21st April

Like this? Try Steve Mason 'Meet the Humans' review.