With it’s looping, uncomplicated structure and chorus, guitar based instrumentation (with a touch of percussion) and folky lyrics, the track above is both an indicator and the antithesis of what makes Chris Hornsby such a good songwriter.
On the one hand, his upcoming EP is simplicity itself – each song built around a basic structure of chords and vocals, with thoughtful lyrics about the everyday experiences of going through life. If that’s what you’re looking for, then the above track is a great taste of what to expect from Chris Hornsby.
However, if you assume from the above that the EP ‘Human, Too Human’ will be limited to guitar and vocal ditties then you’d be wrong. Over the course of the five tracks on this one, Chris Hornsby plays over a dozen different instruments – all his own work – meaning each track has its own identity, and most are more complex and layered than that above.
There’s the great love song ‘You Could Call it Love (And You Wouldn’t Be Wrong)’ to open proceedings with its subtle melodies and layering, then there’s the unconventional pacing and rhythm of the bewitching ‘Tired of Waiting’.
‘In the Woods’ adds a real country feel with the banjo and backing vocals, while the harmonica in the final song ‘The Thing We’ve Lost’ is both the song’s defining feature and perhaps the most jarring part of the EP as it seems to be placed too loud in the mix.
This minor quibble aside though, folk fans – in fact, fans of good songwriting – should be looking at Chris Hornsby.