Billy Vincent - She
Simply named after the band’s two founding members David Vincent and Billy Barratt, London quintet Billy Vincent emerge with their debut album She. Some describe their sound as Americana, but they are to Americana what Jaffa Cakes are to biscuits. There are characteristics of this traditional genre, but in attempting to bring it to the surface along with the likes of Mumford and Sons and Noah and the Whale, it goes a little hard when stale.
Opener ‘Dead Man’s Shoes’ is a country infused pop song. Its sauntering hooks are uplifting and shamefully catchy - a wise beginning. Yet, once this song closes, the album’s lack of fluidity and genre hopping begins. ‘The Wayward Fall In Line’ is a boisterous, Celtic punk song suggestive of Flogging Molly but far more polished. ‘Whittled Away’ is an indie song with a country core: think Pete Doherty flirting with a fiddle and pedal steel. Yet even here there is a golden moment. ‘4,5,6’ is a poignant piano track with vocals choked in anguish – truly brilliant and moving. An average debut overall, but there’s plenty of room and time for refinement.