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A Magazine for Sheffield

DeAD SheEP Lost Horizon

Tom Jarvis delivers once more – mystical guitars, throat singing, harmonica Americana and a Leonard Cohen cover. What more could you want?

Released: 31 March 2023
Lost Horizon

Back in May 2021 I described ex-Reverend & The Makers Tom Jarvis's three-track EP Glassface as having "Morricone cowboy movie vista music, restless Americana harmonica grooves and Andalusian labyrinths of solitude." A verbose form of praise maybe, but let there be no doubt – Jarvis is one of those blessed multi-instrumentalists who can grab a metaphorical sonic paintbrush and come up with a work of art. Every. Single. Damn. Time.

Lost Horizon, DeAD SheEP's new four-track EP release, sees Jarvis performing... well, pretty much everything, from writing through instrumentation to production. The cast list of supporting talent includes the mercurial 17-year old Flynn Hudson-Dean on drums, a regular member of upcoming Sheffield band Lunarca, plus a welcome return from harmonica player Jonny Dean, whose contribution to the title track replicates the musical chops he gloriously demonstrated on the Glassface Gun Club cover 'Mother of Earth'.

One of the interesting facets of a musician who is prepared to travel, embracing alternative cultures and musical influences abroad, is that when you tug at one of the loose threads of their sonic tapestry you always come up with something fresh, surprising, evocative and oblique.

Jarvis can point to spells in Canada and a period studying Turkish folk in Paris as undoubted influences, and it's evident in these songs that his osmosis-like ability to soak up that musical expressionism is a critical motivation for this EP.

Kicking off with 'The Fall', chiming, mystical guitars take us on a journey where the mythical promise of destiny is undone by the random chances of an unpredictable future. Would you like your song served with a side-order of flute and throat singing? Step forward French-Turkish musician Harun Bayrakter, a long time collaborator of Jarvis, to great effect.

The cover track requirement box is ticked by 'Who By Fire', originally by Leonard Cohen. Exploring destruction by fire, water and decay and featuring excellent slide guitar by Montreal musician Christine Wilsey, there's more than a hint of Agents of Fortune era Blue Oyster Cult and Buck Dharma in the guitars and vocals.

All hail Jonny Dean, as his Morricone reprised harmonica leads us into title track and EP highlight 'Lost Horizon', where the protagonist's search for a sense of belonging is destined to end in unease and perpetual imbalance, all wrapped up in a sensational guitar lick and reverb drenched coda that evokes Clint Eastwood's Easy Rider disappearing into the sunset. Instrumental closer 'Tipping Point' doffs its proverbial cap to film noir ambience to round off proceedings rather nicely.

With enough material under his sonic utility belt – and Lost Horizon really is further evidence of his brilliant songwriting and musicianship skills – hopefully Jarvis will now turn his attention to live performances. A collective band inclusive of Glassface and Lost Horizon musicians would be sensational.

So, c'mon Tom, think of your public duty and get some shows set up. A few nights warm up in Sheffield would be very welcome.

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