Songwriter Dan Bradley provides a solid, if not slightly safe, debut E.P. with Gemini.
Opening with the alternative-country twang of ‘Movin On’, the roots filled scope of Dan Bradley’s music is clear from the outset. Giving the E.P. a definite sense of style and place.
This is developed on (more interestingly) on the following track ‘Faith’, which seems to draw from Daniel Lanois’ howling harmonic production on Dylan’s Oh Mercy. This marks the E.P. high-water mark creatively.
Closing with the Tom Petty-esque heartland rock of ‘Better Days’, Bradley commits fully to the Americana tinged edges of his music, with a full-on grizzled vocal and swirling organ undercurrent driving the songwriting forward. Indeed, this is where Bradley sounds most comfortable and at ease with his music.
A warm slice of Americana, Gemini is an E.P. steeped in the big full-bodied, organ-driven folk stylings that the genre evokes. And while Bradley does recreate the sound and feel of the music he so clearly loves the record ultimately falls foul of a flaw indigenous to many debuts, its influences.
Over the relatively short E.P. (three tracks), Bradley does showcase true songwriting abilities that will serve him well as he continues his solo career. However, the artist’s constant leaning on the tropes and characteristics of his influences does result in Gemini feeling held back, slightly clichéd and lacking in invention.
These are flaw often found in first releases and can be side-stepped or overcome as Bradley develops his own sound. As for now, Gemini does work as a starting point for the songwriter to move on from.
Gemini by Dan Bradley is out on December 8th.