Our Man in the Field seems determined to prove himself to be one of the most productive musicians of 2015. The London based artist, who also goes by the name of Alexander Ellis, has continued to churn out the tunes since his self-titled EP dropped several months ago and is already preparing to unleash its sequel upon the world.
Once again working with producer Rami Radi, the singer/songwriter has put together six tracks for a new compilation entitled And Now Over to Our Man in the Field. The swift and stirring guitar work of “Pockets” may already be familiar to you, having originally arrived as a free download at Christmas. It sets a cheery tone before the characterful melody takes off. Becoming increasingly rousing as it progresses, the addition of jingle bells towards the end adds a festive feel to an already warm offering.
You might also recognise “My Confidante” as the touching ballad that Ellis shared just in time for Valentine’s Day this year. Its gentle vocals narrate a pleasant harmony across a hushed acoustic riff. Building momentum as it unfolds, an optimistic air gradually develops while maintaining an emotional ambience. It’s a tender track that makes for an affective listen.
“Oh No” is the first of the fresh creations and is soon to be featured in the Fugitive Theatre’s production of “Bolt” from May 29th to 31st. A slower and more solemn instrumental introduction prefaces a sobering opening verse. Its bracing sound cuts deep, forging a chilling atmosphere through its cool and collected delivery.
It’s followed by the riveting riff of “I Like You So I’ll Kill You Last”; a number scheduled to make an appearance in Ed Scott Clarke’s film, Grind. The guitar enthralls as it bounds along subtly but steadily and erupts with the percussion about halfway through. All the while the expressive vocals cry out passionately. It culminates in a resonant climax that penetrates and lingers.
“Neon Lights” begins with a reserved drum beat that sets a relaxing tone before it picks up the pace, joining forces with urgent guitars and a frantic melody. Becoming fast and frenzied, its relentless rhythm absorbs continuously.
A nonchalant whistling effect starts “Ride On” ahead of purposeful guitars and percussion that pave the way to an arresting harmony. The whistling returns after the first verse, teaming up with a piercing riff that charges restlessly forward. It results in a busy and boisterous undertaking that thrills and excites as it evolves.
This compilation does what all good follow ups should. It takes the strengths and appeal of its predecessor and adds new and unexpected twists without compromising the established musical identity of its artist. All of the familiar folk elements of Our Man in the Field’s previous work are present here, but he’s also incorporated hints of rock and blues that fit in perfectly and bring a breath of fresh air to the proceedings.
You can sample “Oh No” on Soundcloud now, while “Neon Lights” is due to arrive with a video in the coming days. You can also catch the man himself at The Bedroom Bar in the English capital on the 11th of June, as well as at the Blissfields Festival the first weekend of July. For more details on upcoming gigs and when to expect the rest of And Now Over to Our Man in the Field, head on over to Facebook and Twitter.
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