EP Review: Justboy – Head Sick

Justboy is a solo project from Scottish singer-songwriter and musician Dale Sutherland. He’s perhaps more well known for fronting rock band Alkanes but has decided to go towards a more intimate path here – Head Sick is his new EP release.

By Jane Howkins

Justboy’s music takes the best elements of modern folk music and makes it his own. Opening song Drop The Anchor kicks things off nicely, with a beautiful chord sequence strummed on an acoustic guitar. It’s quite a slow track but this makes it sound even more gorgeous – his vocals are rather unique, but suit the style of music well. It sounds very haunting and you can really hear the emotion in his voice.

Title track Head Sick is up next, having more of an outright rock and roll feel to it. This song features a bluesy electric guitar melody, although it’s still fairly slow in terms of tempo. Head Sick also has a beautiful quality to it and whilst the main chord sequence is fairly simple, it sounds stunning at all times.

Better Off is the penultimate song on the EP, taking it back down again to a more acoustic feel. The vocals are very dreamy, fitting the slow nature of the tune well. It builds up a little on the chorus, with Justboy’s vocals really soaring here.

Swallow My Pain is the final song here, and possibly the folkiest too. This track is possibly the most intimate on offer here, with the main instrumentation coming from a single acoustic guitar line and Justboy’s lush vocal style. It’s very haunting and helps to round the EP off in style.

Head Sick is a fantastic release from Justboy, boding well for his future career as a musician. I loved the stripped down, intimate style his music has, meaning even the most hardened of folk fans should feel something when listening to the tracks on offer here.