There is a fine line between attempting to recreate influence and being fueled by influence. All too often artists simply recreate the sounds that gave them inspiration and get tossed aside.
Former Bicycle Thieves and The Silence front man Chris Lewington is a gravity well, drawing influence from various times and spaces with his latest work. Without venturing into the danger zone of recreation, Lewington captures the art, distills it down, and pours it out in his own styling that is equally captivating in lyric as it is in musicianship.
The Kent-based singer/songwriter self-produced sounds of Chris Lewington’s latest EP Starfish Memories lean confidently into decades past, hinting at various emotionally charged sounds so many have loved and clung to over the years. The four-track EP is a selection of songs from the forthcoming album of the same title which is expected August 26, 2022.
Each song delivers a glimpse into the sonic visions of Lewington, but deviates enough to avoid rehashing not just bygone genres, but themselves as well. It is a four-step demonstration into the prowess and ability of a master craftsman. “The Bridge At Midnight” opens the EP with an organ-driven, unrelenting poetic prose that lingers heavy on the late 60s outro at nearly six minutes. “Blue Skies, Fields of Gold” hangs on a drifting familiarity you can’t quite pinpoint. “Radio Radio,” Costello in immediate association and equally in hook, shines on the EP with the lasting anthem sensibilities and harmony. “It’s Going To Be Okay” deviates the pace entirely and draws on a simple piano to drive home an alluring weight. Navigating Starfish Memories calls on the feeling of attempting to hone in on what each song reminds you of. I’d caution you from doing this for two reasons. First, you’ll miss the songwriting power of Chris Lewington that finds their whole within the broken pieces of words strewn upon a dimly lit room as the rain pours down outside. Second, you won’t be able to find any exact pull of influence. Starfish Memories is not a result of specific influence nor is it an attempt to recreate something. It is a well-cultivated four tracks that are wholly Chris Lewington and succeeds in precisely that.