Thursday, 1 September 2011

Luke Leighfield And Jose Vanders - Split EP

Having toured together last year Luke Leighfield and Jose Vanders are releasing a split EP covering each other’s songs. This release was preceded by a wonderfully eerie cover of Bon Iver’s ‘Blindside’, with Jose Vanders’ vocals managing to live up to the benchmark set by Justin Vernon’s unique falsetto style. However the EP, unfortunately, is unable to fulfil its ambition. The main problem is that the two songwriters inhabit quite different genres and neither of them manages to translate their covers anywhere particularly significant.

It begins with Luke Leighfield covering ‘Metal Detector’. While this song has all the components to be transformed into a bombastic power pop song like much of Leighfield’s other records, he instead tries to be delicate and ends up missing the mark entirely. ‘Man On Wire’ is better with Leighfield bringing enough emotional depth to it to carry it off well. Jose Vanders brings sensitivity to ‘Every Day’, the highlight of the EP, sounding bitter and hopeful at the same time. But she cannot pull of the frivolity of ‘Have You Got Heart?’ It would have been excellent to see Jose Vander really let go and launch herself into the song, throwing off the parameters it often seems she is bound by, but sadly her efforts do not come to fruition.

The real disappointment of the project is that it is possible to see what the EP could have been. Two different but still intrinsically similar (both make music based around keyboard) artists swapping mantles for two songs each to show off their talent, but neither artists manages to fill the others shoes. This is not a bad record by any means; it just could have been so much more.

By Jessy Parker

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