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E.G. Phillips - It Ain't Good To Be in Love With You (Ducks With Pants Records)

26 July 2023

My corner of the music writing game, while being eclectic, exciting and often surprising, revolves mainly around rock and pop and all its variants. Sure, one review might be of some Berlin hipster synth-pop outfit, the next hardy post-punksters creating a scene on the Lower East Side, and then the next might be some Tokyo indie kids, they mean well but most of it is similar, if not the same, as something that is already out there.

So when a track like It “Ain’t Good To Be in Love With You”, the new one from San Fran’ jazz man, E.G. Phillips, lands on the desk, it always brightens the day. The mood and the sonics of the song might be similar to something you have heard before, but even the most well-seasoned and broad-minded music buff will find loads to love here.

Weaving jazz composure around soulful sonics, he evokes names such as Waits, Cave, Cohen and Richman, a heavenly set of creatives who have that unique skill set that makes their music both unique and off-beat whilst still being able to reach the more discerning masses.

The song also draws on that same quality that those artists utilise so disarmingly and eloquently, that bitter-sweet reflection on relationships that aren’t going the way you hoped, the reality of love laid bare, the totally honest, total opposite of what most people in the poppier climes, the realm of kittens and kisses, where they are happy to rhyme moon with June, would write about. But its honesty is refreshing, its mood soothing and slightly melancholic, it’s playing understated yet intricate, instruments interlocking and complementing and then allowing each other enough space to have their contributions heard. Brilliant.

Did I say songs like this brighten the day? Make that the week. Actually, on reflection, they’ll improve your whole year. Fact!

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