Nottingham-bred new kid on the block is back with his second EP, Young Blood. Having clung to the success of Jake Bugg, it has been understandably difficult for Saint Raymond’s Callum Burrows to distance himself from music industry comparisons. However, the Young Blood EP should establish him as a standalone artist in his own right; with its light riffs, clever lyrics and undeniably catchy hooks, it is the ideal EP to bring us sunshine in this long dark winter.
Opening track Young Blood, whilst retaining Saint Raymond’s previously raw and unpolished live feel, undoubtedly has the potential to achieve mainstream chart success. The summery riff, Callum’s effortless vocals and the occasional obligatory crowd chant is a winning combination. If you feel like you’ve heard this song before, you probably have; being one of Zane Lowe’s trademark Hottest Record Of The Week, it has received a lot of play on Radio 1, and will most likely continue to until the temperature outside finally catches up with the warmth of the song.
Bonfires is one of the standout songs of the EP. I say this because of the transformation it has undergone; starting off a few years ago as an acoustic number that Callum performed alone, it has now grown into something completely new. With an entire band behind it and the addition of drums, Bonfires is infectiously catchy and has a festival feel to it, and a hook you will not be able to get out of your head for days.
It becomes obvious in the final two tracks, Thread and As We Are Now, that Callum is not just a one-trick pony capable of churning out light-hearted summery tracks and nothing more. The songs are more stripped-back, genuine and more mature.
The Young Blood EP marks the end of a transformation and the beginning of a new era for Saint Raymond. In these four tracks it is obvious that Callum has taken live performances into account; the sound is much slicker and more well-crafted, and the infectious choruses will no doubt be ideal for crowd sing-a-longs come festival season. It’s not possible to pigeon-hole Saint Raymond into any kind of indie-pop bracket; all you need to know is that if you want some sunshine to brighten up your day, the Young Blood EP is a must-listen.