We go through our days being told that our youth is the best time of our lives. Very rarely do we believe it at the time however. We’d whittle away our adolescent years daydreaming of what the future might hold, and it’s only with the benefit of hindsight that we begin to appreciate what we had. That stage of important firsts where every emotion burned its brightest. Heartbreak may have been all the keener, but never again will moments of joy feel quite so boundless. That time where all the people most important to us were always close at hand, not knowing you’d eventually drift apart along different paths and at different paces. With his charming debut EP Adolescence, singer/songwriter Luke Todd stands at a lyrical crossroads between the last days of a fading youth and those tentative first steps into adulthood. Taking a nostalgic look back at the carefree days once taken for granted, as well as reflecting on how growing up takes you by surprise and all the ways it fails to meet expectations, this adept songwriter delivers an assured and affecting first record.
The wistful break-up ballad ‘Oh Well, Never Mind’ flits between a heartfelt look back on brighter days being young and in love, and playfully shining a light on how we try to put on a façade of being better off after parting ways. The title track meanwhile reminisces on days spent as a reckless teenage tearaway, and being thankful to have those carefree memories to look back on. The EPs most upbeat offering, its bombastic drums and spirited spurts of harmonica serve to replicate that forgotten feeling of being able take on the whole world. But where childhood feels like a shared experience, all making the same mistakes and embarking on the same adventures without a spare thought for the passing of time, growing up can leave you feeling far more alone and adrift. ‘Settle Down’ tells a tale of a couple divided by diverging plans, competing with a partner’s wanderlust and faced with being the second choice, while ‘The Ugly Truth’ offers a broader view of how easy it can be to feel left behind; that sense that everyone else has hit their stride on the path to success and you’re left legging behind. The devil-may-care days come to a close and suddenly you’re left feeling like you missed the starting gun on a race you never signed up for. Weaving pensive musings that show wisdom beyond his years, against a backdrop of tender pastoral folk, this talented troubadour sings from the heart in a way that feels both profoundly personal and yet deeply familiar all at once.
Fans of Frank Turner, Brian Fallon and Bruce Springsteen should check out Luke’s debut EP Adolescence out now!