Shamal - "Au Zénith"
EP Review By Aron Radford
Shamal is a wonderful up and coming French singer/songwriter who plays great guitar led folk, rock & blues infused original music. Im very pleased to see and hear he relies heavily on his beloved Weissenborn for accompaniment and on this 5 track EP “Au Zénith” he uses it on no less than 4/5 tracks. Catchy, upbeat, rhythmic songs that transcend language (this EP being sung in French) his music has humble rustic charm that the universal and unique sound of an acoustic Weissenborn weaves through each composition effortlessly. Ben Harper is a huge inspiration on Shamal and its not hard to hear in his playing. His songs have great presence and the passion for the Weissenborn really shines through, lots of syncopated rhythms and chord arpeggios pull each track along with contagious enthusiasm and verve.
Track 1 “Au Zenith” is a prime example of what i have said above, foot stomping bass and a driving Weissenborn riff kick this track off with lots of gusto and energy that can’t fail to engage any music lover no matter what there nationality. “L’étendard” is a more subdued song initially that has a simple haunting Weissenborn refrain that underpins this brooding composition, things soon gather pace though and before long it has transformed into a wonderful anthemic full blown ‘band’ sounding arrangement. “Lourtouais” has to be my favourite track here, as it is a beautiful instrumental that has some delicate use of behind bar harmonics and a sparse blues laden opening refrain that are very accomplished in construction and execution and highlight Shamal’s bring passion for the instrument perfectly. This is one of my favourite Weissenborn instrumentals of the year so far and I’m sure it will be in the running for TWiE 2016 “Instrumental Of The Year” award come December. “Le Jour D’Avant” is the last song on the EP is a guitar/Weissenborn backed song that has a charming balladesque feel.
Shamal is a very very competent Weissenborn player indeed and with a quick visit to his YouTube channel “Musik Shamal” it’s obvious the Weissenborn is a true passion for the man and not just a convenient backing instrument. Do you self a huge favour a check this artist out and don’t worry about the language barrier as music has no barriers and Shamal is a shinning example of that if we ever need reminding.
Not currently available for sale (apart from at gigs) Shamal has informed that the EP should be on iTunes sometime in December. Check out his website in the meanwhile at http://shamalmusik.fr for more information, sound clips and future updates as I feel anything this artist's releases in the future will be of great interest to all us Weissenborn fans.
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