On-the-rise folk artist Gary Stewart releases his latest EP, entitled Year and a Day on June 18th; a follow-up to his debut album release Boy Cries Wolf.

As far as listening quality goes, this album is brilliant. It’s mellow but not depressing, perfectly atmospheric, good as background music or music to be listened to intently. Not a sound is wasted, from the subtle violin on Eve that adds to the atmosphere perfectly to the harsh, penetrating percussion on the opener Thorns that can make a listener jump. Even the haunting backing vocals on Blue feel absolutely essential, like the song wouldn’t be the same without them. Everything has a place and meaning.

Vocally, Stewart’s voice fits in with the style of music absolutely perfectly. It’s soft and high pitched, as close to an imitation of the sound that an acoustic guitar makes that the human vocal cord can reach, without doing a direct impression. The result from this amazing synergy between vocals and music is something very relaxing and enjoyable to listen to. Even when the upbeat Green kicks in, despite the drastic changes in tempo, the music still has that mellow quality to it, it doesn’t feel particularly hurried and it’s still very easy to get lost in.

There are few bad points to mention about this EP. The only one that springs to mind is that it’s too short. Four songs of this is nowhere near enough, any listener who gets their hands on this album will immediately want more. In a way, it’s understandable. This album hits the nail of its target genre on the head so successfully it’s easy to see why it’s not longer – it couldn’t be rushed. This is a good thing, really, as well, because it will definitely increase Stewart’s fanbase dramatically. Let’s just hope that he gets more out soon. Fabulous EP.

Stewart , having already played numerous shows across the UK on his latest tour, is set to play more shows over the coming few months. For more information, see http://www.myspace.com/garystewartband

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