Seán McGowan recently signed to the illustrious Xtra Mile Recordings after having toured with many of their artists, supporting them and even selling merchandise at shows. Seán has self-released two EPs before this, so he is certainly no stranger to Graft and Grief, which is reflected in his lyrics. In turn, this EP gives us an insight into the reality of being a young person trying to make it in the music industry.
By Jennifer Dyas
This seven-track EP opens & closes with a spoken poem, Gag Part 1 & 2, featuring brief but inspiring messages to work hard, never give up, and stay positive. The songs sandwiched between show Seán angrily rebelling against minimum wage jobs with zero hour contracts that he has not been satisfied in. There’s an obvious message about staying true to yourself in the lyrics. The final song, Costa Del Solution, appears to be Seán’s witty interpretation on stereotype package holidays.
It’s predominantly the mature, reflective lyrics that will grab your attention when listening to this EP. The songs are about normal situations and experiences that we can all relate to and get frustrated with. Seán masters expressing negative experiences and his observation of the world without coming across as at all politically dogmatic. This is aided by his catchy melodies, and the full band only compliments Seán’s raw sound. There is a clear influence of Billy Bragg present throughout, and Seán will be supporting him on tour later this year.
Having met Seán when he was working on Skinny Lister’s merchandise stand on the Frank Turner tour, it is a delight to see him getting the recognition he deserves. He’s a very humble, down-to-earth guy and a talented poet, singer, songwriter, and musician.
Graft and Grief by Seán McGowan is out now.