Channelling chamber pop like Rufus Wainright but in a way that’s rather more likeable [this writer has really struggled to get into Rufus despite acknowledging he is talented], James Halloran’s debut EP “Him” marks a colourful palette or lush orchestrations and catchy piano riffs underpinned with some interesting lyrics and vocal displays.
“The Cold Song” is like Enya on steroids as complex orchestral arrangements build and build into a mighty climatic frenzied storm. It’s matched equally by the rousing vocal performance of Halloran. Initially starting out deep and subdued – almost in a singular tone, it soon becomes a vehicle to show the diversity of James’ voice. His falsetto is both mighty and strong but it’s not without depth either as his usual tone is more than capable of belting it out too. It’s an impressive intro which transitions into the dramatic “Diamond” that has timpani drums ringing out the lush piano and string choruses. Single “Deciduous Boy” embraces love in a whimsy way and gives a gentle nod to Fiona Apple and Alanis Morissette’s lyrical prowess of stuffing lots of interesting words into crammed sentences. The track itself in a theatrical anthem of fanfares, rolling piano, organs and foot stomping drums. “HIM” is a piano ballad and rounds off the EP with a quieter sentiment and vulnerability (until the huge finale anyway) as James sounds like he is holding back tears as he goes for the high notes. It’s a track that requires a few listens to really get but rewards you upon each repeat.
Theatrical is the word I’d use to describe James Halloran’s music. It’s crammed with emotion, power and lush production values. It’s clear there’s a huge talent in waiting here and that James can turn his hand to various styles. Quite frankly, I’m ready for a new leading male in my orchestral pop world – James Halloran could well fill that void.
Recommended Track : The Cold Song