Promenade is the sophomore EP from California singer/songwriter Tyler Gelrud (aka Lyonn). Prior to his solo efforts Lyonn played for many years in alternative rock groups, most notably Cue the City. After their split in 2012 he decided to take a break from music and took a trip to Europe in the summer of 2013. This trip was the provocation Lyonn needed, rekindling his passion for music. His debut album was written as a reaction to this trip with the EP even being named after his favourite Swedish city, Knivsta. Lyonn said of his debut offering; “It’s almost like I’m opening my journal and putting a melody to it”.
So what has he got to offer us now, a mere matter of months later? Well the answer is an EP that nicely satisfies our pallet where the previous one whet our appetite. Love again is the underlying theme here with a nice crossover between the happy and sad times.
The opening track, Dancing Machine is a song of triumph, capturing those early moments of new love when for a moment it feels like time has stood still and you are lost in one another. This feeling of euphoria is wonderfully captured by Lyonn with his vocal beginning at low range and gradually building up to a sweet falsetto accompanied by a broader sound for the chorus, “you’re a dancing machine, my dancing queen”….for a moment we as the listener are lost in this brief period of time with him.
The second track Midnight Mind is a stark contrast to the contentment encountered in the first song. This song is a yearning for love with the narrator living in a fantasy world, “just pretend for tonight that you want me”. There is a beautiful instrumental accompaniment that almost makes us forget the sombre mood of the track. It is easy to relate to this song with most of us experiencing the heartbreak of unrequited love and the sleepless nights that go with it “lie to me, it’s the only way I’ll get some sleep tonight”.
Just Say Hello tells the story of trying to find ‘the one’ with Lyonn wondering could it be the stranger he passes in the street and how one day he might pluck up the courage to break down the barrier and approach them “maybe one day I will say hello, ask you for your hand and off we’ll go”. This is one of the more acoustic tracks on the EP with Lyonn’s guitar skills coming to the fore.
The closing track Sing You To Sleep is reminiscent of a lullaby with Lyonn almost whispering the lyrics with a unique gentleness and even as the track builds he still manages to maintain this softness. It tells the story of a last night together that the narrator does not want to end. There is a touch of melancholy in the poignant lyrics “I’m leaving my heart in Paris with you, will you hold it tight?”
Lyonn will always have to endure comparisons between himself and other singer/songwriters such as Ed Sheeran and James Morrison. On closer inspection however Lyonn manages to offer something a little unique when his often heartbreaking lyrics are lightened by his sweet voice and subtle composition. We can see a maturity in the content of this EP compared to Knivsta and this is something that will only evolve with his next attempt. His smooth vocal and his honesty about love will no doubt make him a big hit with younger female audiences while his overall sound and his confidence with experimenting is something that I think will appeal to a much wider fan base. Watch this space…