Oh, Josh Weller. You somehow seem to have become one of our favourite artists here at One on One Music. We’re not exactly sure why – it might be the fact that your melodies are as infectious as any of those that grace the Top 40 on a Sunday evening, or it may just be the fact that your hair is pretty freakin’ awesome. Either way, we’re very glad that you’ve released your Mr. Hypochondriac EP for free over on your website. It’s an absolutely fantastic listen that’s lined with both a healthy amount of English charm and a hell of a lot of songwriting talent – we can’t get enough of it.
The EP kicks off with Mr. Hypochondriac, an infectiously rhythmic acoustic number with a ‘shout-it-out’ chorus. The lyrics to this one are flipping brilliant – who can’t relate to tales of Googling your symptoms and being convinced that you’re going to die? The simple arrangement really allows the songwriting to shine, and if you ever get the chance to see Josh Weller live it’s the acoustic numbers like this one that really showcase his (considerable) talents. It’s a shame that it’s the only purely acoustic up-tempo track on the EP – it would have been nice to hear at least one more, as this is probably the highlight of the whole EP.
Cruella is a funky ‘lil jam with an air of Newton Faulkner to it and we think that it’s pretty awesome. The acoustic guitar that’s omnipresent throughout the Mr. Hypochondriac EP is pushed to the front of the mix, where it merges with the bass and backing vocals quite nicely – it’s powerful without being overbearing, which is something we hardly see. The chorus is pretty simple, and to be honest it’s even better for it – anything more complex than Weller’s cries of ‘Cruella! Eh, eh, Cruella!’ would only detract from the purity of the instrumentation.
The EP moves into more energetic territory with English Summer – it’s almost reminiscent of some of Bruce Springsteen’s earlier works, and it’s another fantastic track. It’s more melancholy than the rest of the Mr. Hypochondriac EP – the lyrics explore tales of lost love and heartbreak, and it’s a nice departure from the up-tempo energy of the first two tracks.
Don’t Run For Me is… Well, it’s sad. Delicate fingerpicking and a heartfelt vocal from Weller combine to create a track that’s as harrowing as it is heartbreaking. It’s the kind of thing you’d listen to after a bad breakup, or that you’d hear in a BBC drama, and it gives Weller the chance to showcase a more tender side to his songwriting.
Closing track I Get Along Without You consists mainly of nothing but a lone electric guitar and Weller’s voice (there’s a solo by an instrument we think is a trumpet in there too – we’re not quite sure). We’re afraid to say that it’s another sad one – if we had to make one criticism of this EP it would be that we don’t get to heart enough of Weller’s up-tempo numbers, as these are his live highlights and we’re certain that he’s got at least another couple of energetic belters in his arsenal. You get the impression that the whole track was recorded in one take, but the occasional mistakes and noise from the guitar only highlight the emotion of the track and it’s definitely better for it.
Most artists close their EPs with a song – well, Josh Weller doesn’t. Track six is an eighteen minute long rant about everything from being judged on a chicken salad to Lianne La Havas. We’re not quite sure why, but it’s flipping brilliant – it gives you a real insight into Weller’s personality and it only makes you warm to him even more. He’s new, he’s fun and he’s exciting, and we can’t get enough of Josh Weller.