While average bands can broadly assimilate to a current scene and hope to get a record deal, solo artists need something to set them apart: a certain quirk (e.g. Joanna Newsom), obvious talent (e.g. King Creosote) or unswerving lane-loyalty to the middle-of-the-road (e.g. James Blunt). Unfortunately, Oregon’s Joshua English misses on all three counts – even the last. Like the roster of artists on Xtra Mile (who are currently touring their ‘softcore’ show around Britain), English makes lo-fi, easy-on-the-ear music that’s difficult to pigeonhole. That’s because it’s so generic; from the breezy acoustic guitar and occasional full-electric backing to English’s affected, all-too-capable singing style. There are breaks in the banality, such as the urgent, stick-drumming of Miles or the 60s-protest-sounding No Ready Answer, No Ready Reply. But with such a lack of individuality or spark, this is all filler, no killer.
Released 1 October