Ex-Stands front man Howie Payne has some pop breeding, brother to The Zutons’ Sean Payne and visual artist/singer Candie Payne as well as his own musical DNA, and he’s shown his hand with a new EP ‘In Dreams’, that’s out now. It’s a follow up to his 2018 album Mountain, that drew praise from all corners.
In dreams sees Payne showcase his smart indie rock songwriting, that touches bases including the rollicking Into Daylight to the emotive Fade Out, Fade In during the course of the four tracks included. It’s easy to see why The Stands picked up fans such as Noel Gallagher, Paul Weller and Bill Ryder-Jones.
Opener Faster than Light ticks all the boxes – air guitar inducing riffs, nods towards Liverpool lineage from the Fab Four right up to his brothers charges, and a damn fine tune to hang your hat on to. Follow on Into Daylight follows on in similar theme, but washed through a more psychedelic hue as it pauses at points to let us observe winding synths before our ears.
Best of all is the title track, the guitars chiming and the melancholy in the melody giving you that little twinge in the feels. Underneath, it could almost be Ringo on the tubs, as the vocal harmonies glitter. Closer Fade Out, Fade In brings things up close and personal with the the production as Payne closes the show with an intimate with a guitar / organ love song work out.
In Dreams isn’t going to open up new sound worlds to you, but it is going to spray a little glitter on the ones that are already there, and that is no bad thing at all.
Check it out, here