New Music

Bluesman S.J. Downes examines ‘love, death, hope and unity’ on new EP

Bluesman S.J. Downes examines ‘love, death, hope and unity’ on new EP

S.J. Downes will release his new EP – Lion’s Path – on Mellowtone Records this December.

The ‘Lion’s Path’ EP was written and recorded by Downes in the summer of 2020, comprising of four subtle and nuanced instrumental compositions. Recorded in real time to tape at his home studio, the tracks feature harmonica and multiple guitars, including a century old Lyon & Healy that takes central voicing on glass bottleneck slide. These beautifully layered recordings and arrangements capture the organic and spontaneous process and take the listener on an acoustic journey from the 1920s into the 21st century.

Contained within the EP – to be released on 11th December – are 4 tracks, 3 acoustic voices, 2 magnetic tape machines and 1 giant tortoise called Darwin – overseeing the proceedings. Aside from that, Downes takes care of all writing, playing and production.

Downes says of the release, “This EP represents a straightforward road map, or soundtrack of sorts, to rising feelings and questions posed by my heart’s mind and desires, recorded in reel time over a large slice of seclusion from society during late summer Aug – Nov 2020. LOVE, DEATH, HOPE, UNITY perhaps simply describe the overall theme of the collection.

“A rare opportunity of a crossroads in time, away from the discord and chaos of the outer world, to safely journey within my own soul and explore my inner landscape of causality, guided solely by the twin auspices of my intuition that Courage will command and Peace will prevail led to these sounds surfacing in their spontaneous nature. I feel delighted that they form my first official release in collaboration with Mellowtone Records.”

Downes’ work spans the worlds of roots, folk, blues and old time, influenced by musicians and writers from the 1920s and beyond. Drawing inspiration from spirituality to the natural world – the macro to the micro – he gives these meditative productions a flavour all his own, with a conscious and hopeful energy present throughout.

Pre-save ‘Lion’s Path’ by S.J. Downes here:

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Ally Goodman

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