Conrad Sewell • All I Know – EP • 300 Entertainment/WEA • Release Date: 1.8.16
Ah, there’s nothing like fresh blood! – Not in a vampirical sort of way! No friends, enemies, and non-acquaintances, yours truly is referring to new artists in 2016. There’s this one guy from Australia whose name is Conrad Sewell that you should definitely check out. Folks, this late twentysomething can flat out blow. Need the proof? All I Know IS the proof as Sewell shows he ‘has the goods’ over the course of the 21-minute EP.
“Start Again” kicks things off superbly. Interestingly, “Start Again” has some similarities to “Take Me To Church,” the hugely popular hit by singer/songwriter Hozier. Yes, both songs are completely different in regards to subject matter, but the bombast is a characteristic of both, as well as the meter changes. Vocally, Sewell couldn’t do much better to introduce himself to the world, as his performance is simply beautiful. And what about them strings? YAS!
“Who You Lovin” is a total contrast. Here, Sewell seems to channel the spirit of Michael Jackson. How does it turn out? Terrific. What’s amazing about Sewell is not only the range of his pipes, but also the clarity given his terrific tone. The contrast between the two performances clearly shows that Sewell shouldn’t be pigeonholed. He’s versatile.
“Shadow” keeps things groovy, with Sewell continuing to show off his celestial instrument. Like both preceding cuts, “Shadow” is slickly produced with the music itself providing as much ear candy as Sewell’s awe-inspired vocals. “Shadow” isn’t ‘brand new’ – “Start Again” is clearly the centerpiece and more notable – but the listener can clearly feel the energy and passion with which Sewell sings with without being privy to a live performance.
“Hold Me Up” gives All I Know its third straight up-tempo joint and another well-rounded musical selection. “Firestone – Acoustic” keeps the tempo moving, but the ‘acoustic’ setting allows for Sewell’s pipes to shine even brighter with varied nuances and sheer power. “Remind Me” closes All I Know quite respectably, with some of the big touches that made opener “Start Again” so grand returning – choir, strings, and heightened drama. Arguably, it edges the internal songs of the EP.
Overall, Conrad Sewell shows immense potential on his debut EP. All I Know doesn’t rewrite the pop-soul idiom, but Sewell definitely shows that he’s a heavy hitter with a killer set of pipes at his disposal. “Start Again” is the gem, but “Who You Lovin” and “Remind Me” are among the elites in their own right. Worthwhile? Definitely – check this dude out!
Favorites: “Start Again,” “Who You Lovin” and “Remind Me”