EP Review: Declan Vink's ‘This Must Be The Place’
Since first discovering Leeds based folk-pop act Declan Vink at the Canny Fringe festival in Newcastle last year, their stunning debut EP ‘Artificial Sunrise’ has never left my playlist. Soothing melodies and lyrics straight from the heart are delivered by soulfully beguiling vocals that perfectly capture personal thoughts and heartfelt emotions.
It often comes as a surprise that Declan Vink’s debut EP was released back in 2014, but what may be even more surprising to listeners is that in fact the project started out as a brother and sister acoustic duo back in 2013.
Siobhan is still very much part of this ensemble, adding her touch in the form of spine-tingling violin tones and divine backing harmonies. But after years of crafting their art, the duo have now released their second EP ‘This Must Be The Place’ in April this year which left me eager to find out how their style and sound has matured and grown in that time.
Starting off with a track that very much is in keeping with the sound we know and love, ‘You’ leads with a gentle guitar rhythm and softly whispering vocals that takes aim and hits you straight in the heart. A subtle synth pop vibe lifts the track and adds a contemporary touch that moulds perfectly around this bittersweet ballad.
A more light-hearted, softly swaying love song comes in the shape of title track ‘This Must be the Place’ which still has that raw songwriter feel. Featuring some sparsely dotted synth and drums tones, it is a more polished track to lose yourself to while dreaming of that certain someone in your life.
‘Friends’ is the one track that undeniably takes Declan Vinks’s sound on a new journey. The use of warped voice distortion is intriguingly experimental, but I feel it takes away from Declan’s unique voice that I’ve come to enjoy so much. However, the nostalgic 80s feel to the super-chilled melody still makes this a track I can appreciate.
Full of peppy, upbeat pop vibes and a chorus that hooks immediately, ‘Falling’ is perhaps my favourite track of the EP. Influences like 'The 1975' and 'The Japanese House' are very apparent here but it still has that distinct DV style with its twirling vocals and glistening guitar rhythms.
It’s safe to say Declan Vink has remained loyal to his subtle and heartfelt song-writing style while clearly letting current pop and indie influences mould their sound in a way that makes them a real standout duo to keep an eye on for the future; a hidden gem that undoubtedly has the appeal to reach vast audience.
But it’s not just on record that their sound impresses, their live performance is equally immersive, with a set that usually features an equal share of original material as well as some cleverly adapted covers like that of the 1975’s ‘Chocolate’ that is even better than the original in my eyes (or ears in this case).
And if this little review has whetted your appetite you’re in luck as their upcoming tour is about to kick off in Manchester on June 20th, before an eagerly anticipated appearance at Gateshead’s cosy Arch Sixteen on June 25th alongside a wealth of other phenomenal acts. Check out the full tour schedule and get your tickets over on Facebook after giving ‘This Must Be The Place’ a spin on any of the usual music media sites.