Joe Booley – ‘Trouble’ EP review

Joe Booley Trouble EP Bordon Hampshire Surrey singer songwriter musician

Bordon singer-songwriter Joe Booley is set to release his third EP, ‘Trouble’, via Beth Shalom Records. Three songs long, it follows last year’s ‘Not a Fairytale’ which sparkled with its tales of sadness and reality.

Opening with the title track, there are Elbow-style atmospherics and echoed vocal effects as Joe sings: ‘I am yours, my dear’; ‘I’ve never been so afraid of losing my love’; and ‘I warned you I was trouble’. Full of sorrow and slow electric guitar, there are lilting male-female vocals and Joe’s voice has something of Bombay Bicyle Club’s Jack Steadman in it. Following this is ‘What Did You Expect’, another lonely song which finds Joe listing his regrets. Fitting in perfectly with fellow local native Annabel Allum, this song finds Joe singing the slightly sinister-sounding words: ‘You smothered yourself with your own fear’ before delivering accusations of the subject trying to hide from their own family and then wistfully stating: ‘I’m no great at lying, you see’.

As the EP reaches its climax with the piano-led ‘The One Thing’, it becomes clear that Joe has a sound that will appeal to fans of The Antlers and Perfume Genius’ earlier material. As he talks about running away from something, only to be pulled in by one lover who no longer loves him back, there’s a powerful emotional impact. As it builds up like a less theatrical Duke Special, Joe sings: ‘The one thing that’s keeping me from leaving is you, and you no longer obscure my view’. With three short songs, Joe Booley has released an EP that has a sadness you won’t be able to resist.

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