Ethan Johns - 'If Not Now Then When?'

Ethan Johns is just as gently majestic when behind the mic

Photo: Press
He might have made a solid name for himself on the other side of the studio glass as a producer for Laura Marling, Ryan Adams and The Vaccines, but Ethan Johns is just as gently majestic when behind the mic. Quite rightly named Best British Producer at last year’s Brit Awards, Johns’ 10-track debut solo album is a placid but gutsy amble that pitches him as Bill Callahan dealing with a lazy hangover the morning after a pub crawl with Guy Garvey. As well as the coy croon of album opener ‘Hello Sunshine’ and the softly devastating ‘Whip Poor Will’, there’s a sleazy stomper, ‘Morning Blues’, that wouldn’t sound out of place on Nick Cave’s dirt-diggin’ soundtrack to last year’s marvellous moonshine movie Lawless. ‘Rally’ takes a psychedelic turn, echoing the aforementioned’s Bad Seeds, while album closer ‘The Long Way Round’ offers up some 1970s-style Brit-folk that treads the same eerie, evocative path laid by Fairport Convention and Nick Drake. More soon, Ethan?
Etta Parsons
8 / 10

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