After some time with post-hardcore band Fei Comodo, Marc Halls left the angry behind him to create his current incarnation, the lighter and more youthful Hey Vanity. The man of many trades has now dusted off his acoustic guitar for a solo venture into a folk-driven passion pit of thoughtful and gentle songs perfect for a solemn and moving listen.
Given the centre stage and individual limelight, Halls has the chance to express himself to his full potential on ‘Born Into Light’, using his powerful voice to control songs and lure the listener in to become part of his story. ‘Next Time’ has a mellow start, but gradually the talented strain in the vocals hits home and the song comes together in a heartfelt crescendo climax which is calmly rounded out in style.
The folk mould comes to light in ‘Lullabys’, where the twang of the guitar adds a dimension that compliments the tone of Halls‘ voice and infuses into the track for a satisfying taste of something slightly different.
Although it’s clear why ‘Open Ended Stories’ was chosen to lead the EP charge with its easy sing-a-longs and repeatability, it doesn’t capture the imagination compared to the rest of the material and doesn’t jump out as a particular highlight. Closer ‘Connor’s Song’ tells the tale of a late friend and the emotion sooths through the track lyrically and vocally, and you can feel how much it means to the Essex singer, but the 2 bonus live tracks are the real testament to his ability, as they are hardly differentiated from the recorded and mastered material at all.
A promising start to yet another project for Marc Halls who has music in his veins it seems, as he continues to impress with whatever he takes a hit at. His sad, insightful harmonies are strong and well-written and sure to keep him occupied while taking time off touring with Hey Vanity.
Written by Michael Heath (@MikeBeef)