Guise – The Fun Part: EP review

The Fun Part is a short collection of beautifully constructed, highly listenable songs by Guise – a band which is essentially a vehicle for the songs and enchanting voice of Jessica Guise, the wife of the great Frank Turner. 

Release Date: 11th February 2020

Label: Xtra Mile

Formats: DL / CD

The songs in this collection have been put together over a fairly lengthy period – ten years in some cases – and all concern issues of relationship.

It’s the first product that Jessica has released under the Guise banner since The Boy And The Thief, some five years ago. It finds her taking the role of an injured, uninterested or incapacitated party as she considers, in turn, the probable futility, the likely tiresome outcome, the unrealistic expectations and the frustration of building romantic relationships.  Her tone ranges from accommodating to accusatory and has the effect of inducing, in the listener, emotions which fluctuate between comfort, disappointment and guilt.

Throughout the EP, the production is sparse, giving plenty of room and prominence to Jessica’s wonderful voice.  That statement isn’t meant to downplay the contributions of Jessica’s capable band – Titus Halder on bass, Keith Barry on Drums and Laura Hanna on co-vocals. Their sound is tight and tasteful but also fully respectful to the songs, and they do give some flex to their capabilities during Brother In Arms, the closing number on this collection.  Production, by the way, is by Frank Turner.

Jessica has claimed (or maybe others have claimed on her behalf) influences which include Joni Mitchell and Stevie Nicks and those influences are clearly evident in the structure, subject matter and the musicality of the songs on this EP.

The EP contains just four songs:  the title track, Too Far Gone, Surprise and the aforementioned Brother In Arms.  All are wonderful with the standout The Fun Part particularly so. This song is crammed with words (you’ll know what I mean when you hear it) and reaches the inevitable conclusion that there isn’t really any fun part to establishing a relationship…..

Jessica is currently supporting Frank Turner on his UK tour and, whilst some of the dates on that tour are already sold out, tickets are still available for some of the gigs.

Here’s the video for the title track:

Guise online: Facebook / Twitter / Bandcamp

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