Through a Pinhole is the most recently released EP by Wexford artist, Johnny Fox. The second in a series of EP’s scheduled for release in 2012, Mark Roche of The Daily Shift, reviews the three track record
Recorded primarily in Ireland between a humble makeshift studio and Johnny’s home, the three track release was mastered in Sao Paulo, Brazil (his current location) a little more than a stone’s throw from the east coast of Eire. This is not an amateur attempt at a record by any standards and Johnny has previously released four solo albums and also worked with The River Fane.
“The Outside” opens the album with a steady pounding of piano keys and a strong vocal line. A simple approach to songwriting and yet at times it seems quite sinister. Adebisi Shank drummer, Lar Kaye appears from the ambient background with heavy percussion which regiments the entire song. The choral effects in the latter half of the song are impressive and although a crude comparison, fans of Radiohead may enjoy what Johnny Fox has done.
The second track takes a different approach completely, “We’re Not Bad People” is heavily laden in synthesizers and relaxed electronic vibes. A lack of any real progression in the song and the heavily laden effects does little but emphasise that, this is indeed a solo project. The only track which fails to perform.
“Don’t Belong to Me” is the height of achievement for Johnny Fox on this record. With only three tracks, it’s difficult to impress however, the final track is a song of sheer beauty; composition, production and performance are immaculately executed. Featuring one of the most impressive harmonies I have heard since, The Mandola’s debut EP Greatest Day; a true poignancy is reflected between vocals and instrumentation.
Through a Pinhole is a well thought out musical endeavour to write and record original music. At times it can seem somewhat monotonous but, there is something here for everybody. Fans of Radiohead, Sigur Rós and other such ambient, piano clad musicians will appreciate Johnny Fox’ talent.
To download Through a Pinhole for absolutely free, go to Johnny Fox Bandcamp where you can find all of his previous recordings also.
*All images courtesy of Johnny Fox