With an already notable reputation as a mesmerising guitarist, having supported the likes of Rae Morris and John Smith to name a few, Ez Stone’s release of his debut EP Moroccan Whiskey via TLS Records is some very exciting news indeed. Hailing from Brighton, his songs are filled with both sorrowful and inspiring story-telling, and since his recent return from travelling, his new material is strongly coloured with experience.
The EP opens with ‘First Sign of Trouble’, introducing us to his talent as an instrumentalist, something that is genuinely reminiscent of Leo Kottke or Bert Jansch. It develops into a beautifully layered track of strong vocals, a rich steel string guitar and some lovely banjo, while Stone sings a tale of resentment and forgiveness.
‘Moroccan Whiskey’, the titled track of the EP, is a ghostly rendition of something tragic. Stone effectively compiles yet more beautiful instrumentals with echoing drums and haunting harmonies. What strikes me most is the strength of his song writing. While ‘Moroccan Whiskey‘ tells the tale of a deathly ridden farmer, Stone’s profound ability to conjure reality from fiction is astonishing, and leaves any listener vividly recalling “Moroccan whisky in the hill”.
The EP concludes on the track ‘World of Pretend’, which admittedly is probably a favourite of mine. It’s gentle, it’s torturously sad, but it’s unceasingly beautiful. At parts I can hear echoes of John Mayer, but it’s much more subtle than any sort of direct comparison. ‘World of Pretend’ upholds distinct rhythm, but Stone’s tale of the harshness of reality is strangely touching, and serves as a strong contender on the EP.
I hope we hear more of Stone, because he deserves more ears. Check out his EP below, which is available to buy here. Stone will be performing in Brighton supporting John Smith and in London supporting Dean Atta, all of which can be investigated here. A great musician destined for great things…