Archie Ray: EP Review

EP – The Moth and the Butterfly

Time for another requested review, don’t you think? I got that many that I’ve had to push a couple to my bonus review slots on a Wednesday while there wasn’t much released last week! Archie Ray is a Cornish singer/songwriter. Spending the last couple of years busking and playing open mic nights wherever he can, giving him quite the great reputation in his local area. This led to his debut EP, The Moth and the Butterfly, being released earlier this year. Being a pretty big fan of acoustic-pop over the last couple of years or so, I am excited to check this out and let y’all know what I think!

May be an image of 1 person, guitar and outdoors
Archie Ray’s Official Facebook

That’s Just What Love Is starts off slow and quiet with a great little acoustic chord progression. Archie’s vocals soon come in over the top and immediately give off Ed Sheeran vibes, because of course it would, it’s hard not to sound similar with this genre of music. I would argue he has two very distinct edges on Sheeran, though. One is that he is a lot better a lyricist, he already seems to be better at writing more interesting lyrics than Ed is. The second is that he adds other instruments in alongside his guitar and vocals to really pad it out and make the song have some great layers and feeling to it. Slowly building in the steady drums and the subtle piano in the back end of the verse created a swell that made the huge vocal line to begin the chorus sound even better.

Speaking of the chorus, it is fantastic, a great vocal line that is massively catchy and the instrumentation backs it up perfectly. It drops back down to Archie’s great vocals and some quiet guitars and piano for a moment before exploding into a huge final verse and chorus. I loved this, it had slightly more of a rock/jazz feel to it than I was expecting it to, given that I was expecting all out acoustic-pop. Either way, it was easily playlisted!

A Better Man is up next. Opening right into a beautiful guitar riff, backed by very fitting drums and piano, this is off to a fantastic start. The vocals come in and give it all an almost folky feel to it. Archie’s voice is so powerful and note perfect that he could honestly do just about any style of music, I feel. There are even hits of Bublé in there, especially when he goes a little higher.

Another fantastic touch are the amazing strings between the lines of the choruses, adding even more memorability, catchiness and all-round awesomeness to the track. There is another stripped back, quieter bridge after the second chorus, this one having some great harmonies and backing vocals in it too. It then bursts back into a huge last chorus before it finishes. Another fantastic song and another that made the playlist.

The EP’s title track is up next. Opening on some simple piano notes, the vocals sound amazing over the top, adding to the beauty. Unlike the last two, though, it stays slow throughout, mainly revolving around the vocals and piano, some other instruments being added in for the choruses and stuff, but nothing too overpowering. The real highlight here is the lyrics, they are beautiful and very well written. The contrast of the moth and the butterfly was beautifully put. A fantastic, emotional slower/ballad type song.

Finally, we reach Defy the Stars. Opening on an acoustic guitar and vocals again, it never fails to sound fantastic. Overall, it is another slower one like the previous song, but the instrumentation picking up (getting heavier?) through the chorus and bridge towards the end was fantastic, giving it a real epic feel. It kind of gave off vibes of Biffy Clyro’s Space, but I don’t know if that’s just me or not. There isn’t much more I can say about this song because I really can’t do the instrumentation justice, but I would HIGHLY recommend checking this out, it really is a great slower song.

Overall: I loved this; a lot more than I expected to. All four songs were great and highly enjoyable, carrying a lot of emotion and talent all the way through them. This is a guy that I would love to see live, and not just to see how he pulls off all the different parts, and I can see him being a huge name in the industry in just a few short years!

Overall: 8/10

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