There’s a new Johnny Cash on the scene so listen up anyone who loves a big, deep, powerful voice thrust alongside a jumpy guitar riff – George Ezra is your man.
I went to check out the young Brit at a launch gig for his new album Wanted On Voyage in Auckland yesterday and was mighty impressed. I was lucky enough to see him tear up the stage with his mix of folk, rock and blues music at Glastonbury just over a month ago, but back then I wasn’t so familiar with his songs, so second time around I was a very happy chappy. George Ezra is a rising star.
This boy is unique in every sense of the word. Ezra has a voice incredibly different to what we normally hear on the airwaves today. It’s obviously what people are craving too, as indicated by the quick rise of his first single Budapest as it’s hit New Zealand charts. His voice has many similarities to Johnny Cash when it comes to strength and depth. He croons with an intense enthusiasm which somehow makes his songs feel upbeat, quirky and moody all at the same time. Not only is Ezra a fresh new sound but he’s also pitch perfect, uses wonderful light and shade and plays the guitar like a champion.
This was showcased perfectly in yesterday’s gig when he played Did You Hear The Rain. He began unaccompanied with a strong, piercing cry which echoed throughout the venue. Immediately he had everyone’s full attention and when he knew he’d captivated the lot he furiously swung his guitar around and strummed with vibrant energy. The song had an almost ominous sounding riff which had a chilling effect, when partnered with his vocals it was superb. A very powerful song.
In this short snippet of a performance we got yesterday he played a number of tracks which have great chart potential, add into the mix his witty personality and I think he’s set for success. It’s impossible not to singalong to Budapest, it’ll be a song dominating playlists around the country in no time. (note: when he wrote it he’d never actually been to Budapest, something he tells us is very hard to explain to an excited crowd in Budapest). But it’s not the best he’s got. I loved his performance yesterday of Blame It On Me from his first EP and his solo version of new album offering Leaving It Up To You had me craving more.
George Ezra is an artist to watch. I hope Kiwi’s embrace him as they should because this singers got soul and he’s here to show it.
Check him out live here: