You could make a decent argument for the fact that with all the challenges and logistical stunts Shaun Buswell has set himself in the last couple of years, the music has ceased to be the focus of the band, certainly when observed from the outside. The timely arrival of Stitched Shoes is therefore the perfect tool to get people to refocus on what really matters. For all the large orchestral shows, the deliberate revolving door policy of musicians, the Dave Gorman style presentations, it has always been about the music and even if some people on the outside may have lost sight of the fact, this e.p. shows that at least Buswell, the man and the band, haven’t.
The five original tracks found here cut straight to the heart of the Buswell sound as both musically and lyrically they manage to walk a fine line that enables them to encapsulate sweeping grandeur and tug intimately at personal heartstrings at the same time. Subjects of family, life, love and desire seem to simultaneously exist as both massive universal concepts and small kitchen sink dramas and the music follows a similar course shifting seamlessly from majesty to melancholic melody at a turn.
On an e.p. of such dynamic scope, it is final song, It’s You, that is the jewel in the crown. Long a live favourite of mine here it seems to be what the record is working towards, the final pay off. A gentle lilting piano slowly gives way to spiralling strings that build and break back into near emptiness. Even armed with a dozen or so instruments to call on, the power of space and fleeting atmospherics is never forgotten. A lesson many could learn from.