Following his recent appearance for BBC Introducing Merseyside at The Cavern Club, Ed Black is back and continues to go from strength to strength with his first release of 2018, ‘Someone Else’s Girl’.
In interviews Black has previously listed esteemed folk artists like Sufjan Stevens and Bon Iver among his chief influences. In truth though, ‘Someone’s Else’s Girl’ sounds more indebted to the classic US folk sound that grew out of Greenwich Village in the early 60s, with touches of Dave Van Ronk and Phil Ochs in the guitar work, while the vocal delivery carries more than a few hints of Bob Dylan’s ‘Girl From the North Country’.
That is not, however, to dismiss Black’s work as mere pastiche. When done well acoustic folk ballads carry a sense of timelessness that deal with themes of perennial relevance. They appeal directly to human emotion, from heartbreak to euphoria, or, in the case of Black, the bittersweet acceptance of loss. ‘Someone Else’s Girl’ is open and honest, with a wistful, delicate beauty in its composition and execution.
In songs like this, essentially a straightforward break-up song, artists sometimes feel the need to communicate their pain through soap opera-style melodrama, throwing all nuance and subtlety out of the window to such an extent it becomes hard to take it seriously (here’s looking at you Ed Sheeran). Black though, expresses his through grounded, candid delicacy, alleviating any feeling of hyperbole and instead giving a far more absorbing and relatable sense of catharsis tinged with regret.
‘Someone Else’s Girl’ indicates a developing sense of maturity and self-assurance in Ed Black’s fledgling career, an exceptionally strong release that will surely help to solidify him of one of the UK’s most exciting emerging folk artists.