Review: Wild Abandon by Ian Penn

The easiest way to describe Ian Penn is “lazy Sunday listening”. But that’s doing him a disservice. Yes, his debut EP, Wild Abandon, has a simple formula: folksy melodies and Ian’s gentle voice, cooing about, well, what folk singers usually coo about. The mix, however, is surprisingly compelling. Ian has this earnest sound that I can’t totally compare to Jake Bugg when he’s in acoustic mode: it’s tender without being frilly, authoritative without being hard. In tracks like “Miss April” and “Cold Mountain”, he’s singing for you, but at the same time he’s not completely letting you in, him insisting he’s not vulnerable when you can see some cracks. It’s pretty compelling – and it takes what you can easily describe as “lazy Sunday listening” into something that can slot in elsewhere effortlessly. [NB]

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