Billy Haris is a Montreal, Canada born musician currently residing in Melbourne, Australia. His debut EP ‘Stripped Down’ has been released on 16th June 2018 and we have been lucky enough to review this brilliant EP.
It opens with the song ‘Love and Betrayed’, there is a nifty acoustic guitar opening which introduces the listener to the gorgeous guitar playing which is to come throughout. The lyrics are compelling, the chord changes are always interesting and chorus is so catchy it will stay in your head all day. Next, ’Don’t You Cry’ is a song speaking of loss, with a strong chorus and aggressive rhythm hand. Texture is presented in the 3rd verse where the guitars pull back and then enter full throttle when the next chorus kicks in. ‘Without a Trace’ showcases picked guitars, it is reflective and sad in nature but shows Haris as a master of blending two guitars together to work cohesively together. ‘Cold Blood’ has more positive sounding guitars, a nice juxtaposition to the previous song. It really highlights the Taylors bright tones. The final track sees the song ‘Another Day’, a positive and hopeful ending to a glorious EP. The song is so big it needs to be played in stadiums to appreciate it fully!
The magical and unbelievable thing about this wonderful EP is it has been recorded with only 3 instruments. Yes, only 3! Haris used his beloved Taylor acoustic guitar, his Custom Gibson electric and his emotive voice. That’s it! Hence the title ‘Stripped Down’. The sound is so big and bold, we find this is hard to comprehend. Haris’s rhythm playing right hand makes the sound feel massive on many of the tracks.
The musicianship is excellent throughout the 5 tracks. We were mightily impressed with the guitar playing most. Haris’s style is innovative and spellbinding throughout. We found the places where the acoustic and electric guitars are working cohesively together just mesmerising to listen to. Haris has the awareness in his playing to pull the guitars back when needed and let them thrive and take centre stage when the songs need to be driven along. This all demonstrates he is a master of his craft. His compelling vocal performance reminds us of a mixture of Mick Jagger, Liam Gallagher and Axel Rose in places as well.
‘Stripped Down’ has been mixed wonderfully too. The beautiful Taylors’ range of tones have been highlighted wonderfully. The bass is warm, rich and inviting and the top end is crisp, sharp and ear catching. The Gibson is the perfect change of sound yet still accompanying the Taylor well. However, its tone takes centre stage when it needs to shine.
With the digital EP being available for $5 and the physical copy only $10, what are you waiting for? Feed your soul with the ‘Stripped Down’ EP today! Available from http://billyharis.com/releases
Reviewed by FVReviews June 2018