REVIEW: Lily Garland – ‘The Next Chapter’ EP


Another great set of tracks from a great female artist based in the UK. Lily’s down in Portsmouth, and had acclaim from Belles and Gals after her first EP Time to Fly. Lily is also up for the UK Country Artist of the Year at the UK Country Music Awards.

Having been inspired by British country music artists, The Shires and modern country legends such as Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert, Lily began writing and performing her own songs in 2015.  Soon Lily believed these songs needed a wider platform so her debut EP was born.

This time around, on ‘The Next Chapter’, all five tracks are co-written with, and produced by, Justin Johnson, who also plays the drums on this EP. He seems to be a key figure in UK country music, backing Emma Moore and Raintown as well as Thorne Hill, who guests on vocals. Laura Oakes is there too to add a cherry on top of a cake that would sit on a shelf next to Dexeter and Jess and the Bandits.

Queen of the World is the first track. Lily delivers a vocal about empowerment and stuff with a voice which soars like Lucie Silvas. There’s vibrato as well, showing a technique reminiscent of her heroines in the Dixie Chicks; they would be impressed to receive a song like this in their demos pile.

He’s Not the One is a great pop song. The production helps bring out the chord movements in the song, and the reverb on the guitar adds to the atmosphere. Save Me does much the same: Lily wants to be free, and seeks salvation among a wall of guitars that are closing in on her.

I’ll Never Break Your Heart is a song in 6/8 time (1-2-3, 2-2-3) written by Garland/Johnson/Sweet, the sugar coming from Adam Sweet. This is not the Backstreet Boys song of the same name, but it’s in the same tenor. This time it’s a lady promising commitment, accompanied by a stunningly sung melody. Scott Poley adds a wicked solo in the middle.

Sweet was also in the room for I’m Coming For You, the single, which punches effectively thanks to Justin’s drums and a power-pop riff. Stick around for the drum solo in the penultimate bar of the song!

Looks like a star, sounds like a star…Lily Garland must be a star. Check out this EP when it’s available next Friday (June 16th!)

Jonny Brick

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