EP Review: Craig Swan – George’s Diner

Craig Swan is a York-based singer songwriter who has pulled together his new EP George’s Diner in support of The Jordan Legacy.

By Graeme Smith

The Jordan Legacy is a Harrogate-based project devoted to suicide prevention through the means of practical actions like early intervention, making communities psychologically safe places and encouraging people to look out for each other.

With such a weighty subject at hand, you can’t expect George’s Diner to be particularly light. Yet, it’s not a record that gets bogged down either. Indeed, the subject is elevated through Craig’s delicate vocals and atmospheric compositions. During the EP’s opening track Return To The Ground, I was reminded of acts that have fearlessly and honestly tackled subjects that often seem taboo, such as The Wall era Pink Floyd and Radiohead.

Alongside traditional tracks, Craig also blends in audio collages, the first of each being I’m Not Always On Cloud 87. These experimental vignettes bring a surreal and emotionally charged angle to proceedings. Lake Semerwater comes next, gloomy and minimal, there is an unexpected dynamism in its lyrics, which speak of nature and its flows.

Wake Up, George is the EP’s next collage, featuring unsettling whispered and reversed speech, and then comes Unlimited Dream Company, named for the JG Ballad novel. It’s the EP’s most expansive moment with echoing, steely guitar and gently soaring vocals.

Things close with a final audio collage – Ascending George, which ties all the EP’s moments together nicely. By the end of George’s Diner, I felt it demanded another listen. There’s a lot packed into its ambient minimalism. I strongly urge you to give it a go. Even if it’s a bit out there for you, you have to celebrate the artistry, and the good cause that Craig is supporting.

You can check out George’s Diner below. If you want to support The Jordan Legacy, it’s also available to buy as a digital album on Craig’s Bandcamp page.