Joe Anthony is a singer/songwriter from Wiltshire in the South of England. ‘Breathing Backwards’ was his first – and thus far only – EP originally released in 2010. I can’t really comment on why he has chosen to release it again now but I can definitely say that I’m glad that he has done as it’s given me the chance to listen to half a dozen very charming songs.
From the outset, the propulsive ringing of an acoustic guitar is brought to the front of the mix and somewhere just behind are Anthony’s rich vocals: three quarters melancholic ache and one quarter hopeful romantic. ‘Am I’ begins like a rustic singalong but then the music expands to embrace a fuller sound which certainly sounds far less modest than Anthony’s description of country/folk or easy listening.
One could imagine the likes of Doves taking a shine to this kind of music. Granted, the likes of ‘The Medicine’ or ‘To Follow My Feet’ aren’t nearly as dramatic as the Manchester band’s output but they share the same hallmarks of “Britishness”, bruised melody and honesty. Meanwhile, the rainy day atmospherics underscoring ‘Lullaby Lift’ doffs its cap to The Durutti Column’s Vini Reilly.
Stylistically, there is nothing particularly remarkable about ‘Breathing Backwards’. This is honest, heartfelt songwriting made noteworthy by Anthony’s strident vocals and guitar work and if more people get to hear it, then that can be no bad thing.
Joe Anthony Soundcloud
The Big I Am, Doves, Durutti Column