When a singer-songwriter gets his heart broken, alarm bells ring in the world of beige banality – you know, at some point, there’ll be a record about it. That’s a given. The only worry is just how simpering and self-pitying it’ll be, how many mixed metaphors it queasily yearns and whether or not it’s backed by static keyboard synths.
Ed Geater has had his heart broken, and, yes, he’s a singer-songwriter. But while others have expressed their catharsis through cumbersome ballads, Geater bucks the trend by offering Unseen, a layered, lush lanyard of unrequited love. Heartbreak suits some, and on these four songs it certainly suits Geater.
Opener ‘If I’m Being Honest’ is a whirpool of echoing emotion and decaying sentiment, but it’s the exception to the rule – elsewhere, Unseen is exciting and unpredictable, thanks to Geater’s restless exploration and finely-tuned production methods. On the album’s most grandiose cut, the pounding, poppy ‘Symmetry’, he achieves the notable accolade of managing to beatbox without sounding completely cringeworthy, while singing the kind of radio-drenched chorus Bastille would burn Pompeii for.
Even when he lets the music do the talking – as on the chiming instrumental of ‘Rainbow Round the Sun’ – his deft acoustic touch allow a delicate downpour of raw emotion to filter through the FM-friendly sheen. ‘A Message’ closes the EP with intent, a jabbing guitar riff, like a stab in the aorta, reverberating around an urgent chorus.
Recorded and produced alone, independence – and heartbreak – are the perfect cocktail for Ed Geater. Let’s hope he doesn’t find love for a while yet.
Unseen is released on Friday 14 October.