EP Reviews: Gavin Creel – Quiet (2010) / Oliver Tompsett – Gravity (2013)

“You won’t be my angel”
I won’t be your guy

2010 EP Quiet by Tony winner Gavin Creel is really rather lovely indeed. Six tracks of acoustically-inclined folk pop co-written with Robbie Roth, it is a short but sweet album of real heart that emphasises the musicality of this musical theatre star, and also shows a wise progression from his first album. And if we’re to believe the lyrics here, that heart is a substantially bruised one which works out very well for fans of a melancholy ballad.

Such fans are particularly well served by the opening pair of tracks. The delicate ‘Green To Grey’ and the plaintive reality check of ‘Love Fell Down’ are desperately heartfelt and beautifully moving as Creel allows a husky tenderness to colour his voice to gorgeous effect. The collection is intelligently sequenced too, allowing a note of hope to creep in with the late realisation of ‘Small Words’ and the gentle humour of closer ‘Hot Ohio’. 

Stripped back to guitar and occasional lines of harmony that drift in beautifully, this is music to smooth and sooth the soul, and a refreshing new side (to me at least) to this most talented of performers. Crossing the ocean and part of an online project that saw him releasing music with his brother Ben, Gravity is a 4 track EP from West End leading man Oliver Tompsett. 

It’s a solid collection of inspirational pop songs, its highlight for me being the Celtic-tinged charms of Precious Little Moments with Amy Cassidy and Ben Tompsett. The soaring build of the title track has a compelling strength to it and as with ‘Rescue Me One More Time’, the gentle piano intro allows a real sense of the depth of passion in Tompsett’s voice to shine through. 

The uptempo duet with Rachael Wooding ‘Eye to Eye’ feels a little too much of an 80s throwback to break through in a similar way, its production not really doing it for me, but it remains tuneful and fun to listen to, as do both of these EPs in their entirety – handsome men in musically pleasing, smaller packages – just right for the summer!

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