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EP Review. Boroughs


Once you hear Americana/folk band Boroughs, you won’t soon forget them. Their self titled EP is full of memorable songs that will keep your attention all the way through the album. Discussing themes such as “heartbreak, confusion, and love” Boroughs brings their own unique take on universal feelings.

With a Ryan Adams feel, “Stay With Me” is a tune that is beautifully sad and poignant at the same time. It’s a look insider lead singer and songwriter Kyle Neal’s mind and the complicated relationships he has had. “Every now and then I let you see the weakness in me,” Neal sings with such sincerity that one can’t help but feel sympathy for a man who tries to hold back any negative aspects of himself from the one he loves. It’s a sweet notion, and one that is hard to execute and keep up, but Neal perfectly captures what that feeling is like for a person. The melody is simple but the emotions behind it are not. And with the twangy instrumentation, and a guest vocalist, it helps to propel the tune to one of the best on the album.

“Anytime” definitely is the most country feeling track on the EP and it plays like a perfect movie that embodies the spirit of a broken heart. This is a true picture of understanding between both parties in a relationship even after things go sour. It’s slow paced but it never drags, in fact the tempo only helps to match the content of the song. Again with an additional vocalist here, a sweetness comes out that lets listeners know where both parties in the relationship are at. At times the track seems old fashioned and retro, and it is that exact quality which makes up one of the many reasons why “Anytime” is so memorable.

There is one song on the EP that not only stands out among the rest as the most exquisite but also the most radio friendly and that song is “Give it Time.” If listeners are looking for a big hit with running wild emotions in the style of Lady Antebellums “Need You Now” this is it. The tune is low-key but also extremely powerful with its minimal instrumentation and honest vocals. Yet again a guest vocalist is brought in to add another layer to track, but the added voice is never better used than here, especially on the chorus when the two voices blend effortlessly. It’s the type of song that will hit listeners right in the gut with a surprise punch. Not only is “Give it Time” an exceptional song, but it is one of the best tunes of 2015. A bold statement, but one that could not be truer to this listeners ears.

“Alive” is a bit more in your face in its lyrics and its instrumentation, but it still feels right at home on the disc. “Self destruction is the only way I know to feel alive,” Neal sings, putting his emotions all out for listeners to hear, admitting that smoking and drinking are vices that have plagued his life. It’s this type of reflection that is often heard in Americana/country tracks, but Neal places his own personal stamp on it by never begging listeners to feel sorry for him. He is simply telling a personal story, and the fact that it may connect with others just makes “Alive” more powerful than it appears on the surface.

There are a few tracks that fall short of the brilliance that Boroughs mostly contains, but that doesn’t outweigh the genius that the EP holds. The first song “Keep it Up,” comes across as a bit too generic and forgettable amid the beauty of the rest of the album. It’s an ok song, but there is nothing memorable here and the message seems far too overplayed. “Enough” closes up Boroughs on an oddly sounding end note. This track has a rousing almost karaoke belting barroom chorus that just doesn’t fit in with the rest of the album. It has a nice sentiment to it, and the verses allow Neal to shine like he usually does, but the jarring chorus take listeners out of the understated magic of the EP,

Overall, minus the bookend tracks, Boroughs is a treasure of an album that will surely take listeners by surprise and the band which has already made a name for itself in Southern California are poised to take the rest of the world by storm.

–Boroughs was nice enough to upload “Give it Time” as a streaming track for listeners. Take a listen here–

Listen to Give it Time !



About Rachel Freitas

retro music enthusiast. Dreamer. Kind of odd. Writer

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