UP (MAX POPE)

RELEASED 20TH SEPTEMBER 2019

Favourite track: Man On The Wire

Max Pope takes us to a roof-top in London at night as we look down and see the city with all the people, their stories and connections

UK singer, Max Pope, is known for his soulful voice that focus on human connections and isolation. He’s already gained a decent amount of listeners on Spotify with the release of his debut EP UP as well as prior singles. The 4-track EP has a bold, quirky design of a man balancing on a tight-rope at night. The cover art is very ‘modern art’ looking and it definitely presents an idea of movement, escapism and the city.

Image credit: Circuit Sweet

The first track ‘Man On The Wire’ I suppose explains the cover art. Ok wire, not tight-rope but hey. The acoustic guitar and rock kit accompanied with some gorgeous, slow vocals totally chills you out. The lyrics talk about a past lover in a hotel room that he is fixated on. There is a real feel of human memory and emotion present in his voice but also his words. I love the addition of jazzy brass melodies in the background too which further make this song one that relaxes you. His voice is sultry, calming and authentic as he tells his story. ‘6 AM’ opens up far more ‘1960s surfer in Miami Beach’ with a dream guitar, rock kit and sunny feel. This has a VERY retro sound to it which is definitely something that (in recent years) has made a massive comeback, especially with younger people taking an interest in old rock bands or the stuff their parents used to listen to in their youth.

‘You’ll Never Die’ is another acoustic guitar song with a very subtle rock beat until the chorus where delivers a Morrissey vocal and then shows us his higher range in a repetitive “you’ll never die” lyric. The words are all very raw and real as he talks about his day and how things remind him of the person he’s singing this to. I like how he incorporates Jazz into this song too with the snares and strings in the later part of the song but maintains the fast pace of a British rock song. And finally, the last song. His vocals are the thing that stands out in the slow, acoustic, sad song ‘Foot Of The Hill’ which has a kind of ‘solitary figure passing through an old Western town’ feel to it with the poignant backing vocals and the guitar and consistent slow beat with a hint of a chain sound. He then introduces the accordion sound which further evokes that imagery. Max Pope has certainly established himself with this EP and has shown us what he is a capable of vocally whilst reviving a Morrissey-esque sound for a modern audience. It will be interesting to hear what more he has in store for us.       

Perfect for a chill listen or in the background for a roof-top party.