One of my greatest loves in the world of music is the storytelling at work in a well executed concept album. Considering that these days the EP is the format of choice for up-and-coming artists, it strikes me as odd that more of them don’t work towards a bigger picture in the same way. With his debut release this Australian troubadour has delivered a rare and exceptional example of a concept EP. Over the course of four tracks of wistful folk, Musketeer shares the story of a 19th century convict shipped off to Australia to work away his sentence. With the title track of the Seven Long Years EP, he perfectly captures the mood and creates a tale of lovers so cruelly parted that sounds like it could have been sung for generations. With the gentle orchestral swell of ‘Hollow’ and the mournful brass of ‘Johnny Red’ we are given a sense of the prisoner’s fading hopes of returning to his old life, and a growing acceptance of the world he knew being gone forever. A compelling tale, exquisitely executed, that leaves me longing for more.
Musketeer’s Seven Long Years EP is out 27th January for fans of Mumford & Sons, Seafret, early Bon Iver and The National. He will also be touring the UK in February.