Daddy Lion – Habitat

Jeremy Joseph aka Daddy Lion, a native of Columbia SC, recently released his debut album Habitat for a limited CD run via the label 24 Hour Service Station. The album is also currently available for free digital download. If you’re unfamiliar with Daddy Lion then that is only to be expected. Despite previously receiving positive reviews from a number of online and overseas publications, the general response to his debut has been one of impressed surprise from only one or two keen-eyed observers - fans with long memories perhaps.

Two years after presenting his first ambitious offering, he retired to his bedroom studio, which he occupied so quietly he was presumably forgotten about until one day he emerged, like a dishevelled university student clutching his completed thesis, presumed dead by his apathetic housemates. Habitat was written, recorded and produced by Joseph alone and draws on everything that is fine about electronic and indie pop music. If Daddy Lion’s self-titled EP was a demonstration of all Joseph is capable of thrown together in six overly full tracks, Habitat is a refined demonstration of his maturity and adaptability, bringing together catchy lyrics, underlying alt-rock compositions with an overlapping electronic sound; subtly constructed and addictive.

Opening with “The Scientist’s Lament”, an infectious, almost twee track containing simple lyrics you can’t help but sing along to, Habitat deteriorates from the popular into what he so aptly describes as an “electric malaise”; lyrics mournfully call forth snatches of images barely explained but wholly evocative. The electronic effects conjure an almost 80s, new wave feel in places and the track “Survivor’s Guilt” demonstrates a little of the emotionally raw vocal energy that was ever-present in the EP, but somewhat lacking in this album. “Samsara” is the perfect example of the carefully trodden border between the obscure and the understandable, the tone of the track is somehow self-depreciating, the references hinting at a personal confession without ever an overt statement of hurt, the result is warm, lolloping, almost country sounding, something to be played with a shot of whisky and a mournful smile.

Overall this is an album so fraught with influences the effect is not ground-breaking, but it is cohesive, subtle, intelligent and full of potential. Leave Jeremy Joseph alone in his studio for two years and he’ll produce an album worthy of anybodies time. Let’s hope it doesn’t take him two more to follow up on it.

Release: 31st July 2012, Self-release

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