Forgotten Friends EP (High Resolution Master)

by S J Denney

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    The Hi-Res (24bit/96K) mastering of the 'Forgotten Friends EP' is as close as you can get to the sound of the studio. If hearing the highest possible sound quality is important to you, then this is where you’ll get it. The mastering was done by Nigel Palmer at Lowland Masters. The tracks have minimal EQ and no dynamic range compression. To allow for full dynamic range, and to let the music “breathe”, the Hi-Res version has about 6-8db less digital level than a typical “loud” peak-limited CD or mp3. To enjoy it to the fullest extent, play this record back though a good system and turn up the volume. With this increased level of detail and sonic impact, I hope you'll enjoy listening to the 'Forgotten Friends EP'.
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1.
Here I Am 03:10
Open up your eyes I’m standing right beside you Don’t you realise that I’m there? This room was built for two I’m painting you a picture That we could have been anywhere I’m letting you know that I care I’m not gonna let you forget me I don’t wanna leave this to chance And regret I haven’t lost my mind I’m looking to the future We could have got there sooner If we tried We didn’t miss a beat I tried my best to reach you But then you drifted on, unaware I’m letting you know that I care I’m not gonna let you forget me I don’t wanna leave this to chance And regret It’s time to take control I’m dancing in the fire I’ve heard you like a trier Here I am Here I am Here I am
2.
Feels like I’m dreaming And I can’t wake Feels like we’re living In a world that’s full of hate We may be hurting But things can change They’ve got the numbers That we need to rearrange... …In a logical order The pattern’s on the wall I thought I heard you Calling me... Maybe I’m hearing things But you can hear them too Maybe I’m hearing things But you can hear them too Feels like I’m sinking Under a wave I don’t like fighting But it’s better to be brave… …Through all of this disorder The sky above will fall I thought I heard you Calling me... Maybe I’m hearing things But you can hear them too Maybe I’m hearing things But you can hear them too We’re flying underwater Connecting space and time I thought I saw you Shining through... Maybe I’m seeing things And you can see them too Maybe I’m hearing things But you can hear them too Feels like we’ve both been- Stood here before Feels like I’m hearing things Of that, I can be sure
3.
It’s no use wishing on a rain cloud You should be looking to a star When it comes to it You’ve got to follow my advice When it comes to it You don’t think twice And when you’re waiting for tomorrow You could be living for today When it comes to it You’ve got to open up your mind If you look for it Then you will find When I tried telling you that all the signs were there You didn’t listen, but you lived your life with care If you had a choice Would you believe me when I say- “Every mountain points a different way”? These are the lessons you’ve been learning So don’t repeat the same mistakes And though you recognise their faces You don’t expect a warm embrace When I tried telling you that all the signs were there You didn’t listen, but you lived your life with care And you may never be the one I thought you were But something’s telling me you get what you deserve If you had a choice Would you believe me when I say- “Every mountain points a different way”? When it comes to it You’ve got to follow my advice When it comes to it You don’t think twice When it comes to it You’ve got to open up your mind If you look for it Then you will find When you feel alone, why don’t you say- “There’s a feeling that I can’t explain And it aches me to my bones Then it breaks my heart in two”? When you’re feeling like you can’t go on Won’t you tell me that you need someone- Who can take you by the hand- If the black dog barks again? This is a story of forgotten friends If you’re thinking that it don’t make sense
4.
When it feels like things are slipping away Remember The good times are here to stay I hope it isn’t too late, to reach you now The lights are fading out It’s a fine line that you’ve been walking along Just trying to find out where you belong When you were coming on strong I told you that I’m never going… …Back to the water’s edge Chasing better days When all I needed was a friendly face Thoughts are running through my head Since you flew away To a place where you belong There’s a bright light that I’ve been following round If ever you need me I’m on your tail You’ve had your head in a cloud, for far too long Tomorrow you’ll be… …Gone with the summer breeze Flowing through your hair Thank you for showing me you care You’re falling like the autumn leaves Scattered everywhere Till the feeling moves you on When it feels like things are slipping away Remember The good times are here to stay I hope it isn’t too late, to reach you now The lights are fading out
5.
It’s the feelings that I’m showing It’s the knowing that you care See the rain against my window Then you’ll understand my pain We both know it’s true You’re taking sides But I’m asking you to wait When the darkness hides Where darkness hides When your atoms are colliding Mine align into a row There’s a reason why we landed And we’re stranded in this time We both know it’s true You’re taking sides But I’m asking you to wait When the darkness hides Where darkness hides Now we’re running round in circles Jumping hurdles in my mind But we can’t escape the shadows of love We both know it’s true You’re taking sides But I’m asking you to wait When the darkness hides Where darkness hides
6.
A morning comes Shining through your window The sound of drums Knocking at your door Every day We’ve got to chase the demons all away I heard a voice Coming out of nowhere I made my choice To give me peace of mind Every day We’ve got to chase the demons all away Day by day We’re dreaming of the one that got away Day by day We’re dreaming of the one that got away Every day We’ve got to chase the demons all away Day by day We’re dreaming of the one that got away Time will tell If we’re gonna make it A fond farewell Doesn’t mean goodbye Every day We’ve got to chase the demons all away Day by day We’re dreaming of the one that got away Day by day We’re dreaming of the one that got away Time will tell A fond farewell Time will tell A fond farewell Give me something to say Give me something to think about again Give me something to dream about Time will tell Give me something to say Give me something to talk about again Give me something to dream about Time will tell A fond farewell

about

S J Denney is an Essex-based singer-songwriter. He performs folk music with an indie edge. Forgotten Friends is his 2019 release, reviewed here by author, friend and long-time fan, Mark Cundy.

This new collection of songs brings together the best elements of S J’s Britpop and American songbook influences. What’s especially thrilling is how it draws on and refines his own style too.

There is a confidence to open the EP with the moderately paced 'Here I Am'. The song starts with a beautifully blended acoustic undercurrent and electric hook, underpinned by drums and bass outriders that subtly insist on your attention. Added to the standard sounds is a delightful cello, superbly played by Louise Dearsley. The weaving sympathy of the strings softens the harsher edges of this tough love lesson. And the emotional high point of the track is scored with a perfectly placed trumpet break from Rus Rogers.

'(Feels Like I’m…) Hearing Things' takes us out of the inward tensions of personal relationships and looks at the wider world. There is turmoil out there, which every screaming headline tells us daily. This track catches the mood. There is a notion of helplessness – but not hopelessness. Political paralysis often leads to social tensions and this is truly a song for our times.

'All the Signs Were There' provides a welcome change of pace. Breezy is not what you normally expect from this measured and driven artist, but it works. There’s no mistaking the attention to detail, great arrangement and polished delivery throughout this Beatles-inspired track. From the opening bars of bright acoustic guitars, the bass and drums irresistibly invite the listener to hitch onto this upbeat groove. When Denney’s voice joins the party, he’s the cheerleader for a determinedly optimistic ride.

What follows, is a remarkable vignette of a track. 'Forgotten Friends' clocks in at 97 seconds, but conveys so much in a dual delivery of quiet compassion and heart wrenching pleading. If that sounds depressing, it certainly isn’t. S J’s voice breaks new ground as he softly broaches feelings so delicate, matters so deeply rooted that he knows he needs to tread gently. It’s evocative of Springsteen at his most tender and Costello at his warmest.

'The Good Times' changes the pace again. A bad relationship flashes before our eyes as a relentlessly downbeat missive is fired across the wreckage. There’s still a hand reaching out, but with no anticipation of reconciliation. The sparse use of acoustic, deftly deployed bass and percussion keeps the mood intact throughout. This track reemphasises the theme of lessons learnt, with older and wiser perspectives reigning.

Next up is 'Where Darkness Hides', which is a joyful homage to The Smiths. This elegant arrangement, beautifully played by Denney and the assembled musicians provides the platform for a tale of two souls that will never settle into blissful coexistence, but who would be diminished without each other. Once again Roisin O’Hagan joins him on vocals and lifts the bittersweet tune to its emotional high.

'A Fond Farewell' brings the EP to a close. And just as 'Here I Am' had to be the opener, this is the natural finale. The music is a delight, with chord sequences that allow the piano, trumpet and bass to stretch out and provide a jazzy improv quality. You could imagine this as a 12-minute set piece at Ronnie Scott’s or at a Sunday club in New Orleans. The echoing outro harmonies and clever word play carry the quality right to the last beat. This is an arrangement that could only be written by someone who loves ‘the Fab Four’.

By surrounding himself with musicians of the same quality, S J has delivered another career-high release. The foundations of each track were recorded live and click-free, providing an extra dynamic that is often lacking from modern-day recordings. This time in the studio has been spent putting together something that effortlessly rises above what has gone before. We are now hearing the authentic voice of this highly talented singer-songwriter.

credits

released September 20, 2019

All songs written by S J Denney
All songs arranged by S J Denney & Mat Leppanen
Produced, engineered & mixed by Mat Leppanen at The Animal Farm
Mastered by Nigel Palmer at Lowland Masters

S J Denney - Vox, backing vox, acoustic guitar & percussion
Mat Leppanen - Electric guitar, piano, organ, bass guitar, drums & percussion
Ville Leppanen - Electric guitar
Roisin O'Hagan - Backing vox
Rus Rogers - Trumpet
Louise Dearsley - Cello

Concept & design by S J Denney
Cover image by Matt Gibson

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S J Denney Benfleet, UK

S J Denney is an Essex-based singer-songwriter.  He performs folk music with an indie edge.

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