It took four years, but the wait is finally over for new music from English singer-songwriter George Ezra.
Fans can hear his voice again with the release of Staying At Tamara’s, the follow-up to his debut studio album, Wanted on Voyage. Ezra dropped the lead single, “Don’t Matter Now,” in June 2017, nine months before the album’s release date.
Ezra’s four-year gap between his first and second album was filled with touring, traveling, and writing songs about his experiences. Story has it that the inspiration for the album came from George Ezra’s spontaneous trip to Barcelona, where he essentially packed his bag and rented a room from a stranger for a month. The renter, of course, was named Tamara.
Staying at Tamara’s offers a cheerful, sincere sound of escapism. “Don’t Matter Now” presaged the theme of escapism in its lyrics:
“Sometimes you need to be alone (It don’t matter now)
Shut the door, unplug the phone (It don’t matter now)
Speak in a language they don’t know (It don’t matter now)
Well I don’t think about that stuff
No, I don’t think about that stuff
It don’t matter now”
Accompanying singles “Paradise” and “Pretty Shining People” are upbeat anthems that beg the listener to join in on the chorus. Both are uptempo songs, and the latter poses an interesting paradox when George opens “I fear I’m on an island in an ocean full of change/ Can’t bring myself to dive in to an ocean full of change.”
For all the softies out there, Ezra also showcases some amorous tracks in “Sugarcoat,” “Hold my Girl,” and the closing track, “The Beautiful Dream.” This final song truly showcases his vocal ability with a wide range of sounds in the almost taciturn song.
Songs like “Get Away” and my personal favorite, “Shotgun,” encourage the listener to daydream about the fun things in life and get excited for warmer days. The chorus is essential windows-down playlist material: “I’ll be riding shotgun underneath the hot sun / Feeling like I’m someone.“
But despite all these good vibes, the album also has a slower, darker, and more melancholy side with “Saviour” and “Only Human.” “Saviour” was the last single prior to the full album release, and it features the Swedish singing duo First Aid Kit, who were nominated for Best International Group in the 2015 Brit Awards.
In its entirety, the album is versatile with mixed emotions, and as a result, has set the benchmark for every album that gets released between now and the summer. If you’re looking for an album that can mesh with any mood you’re in, has excellent replay ability, with a uniquely talented vocalist, then look no further: Ezra’s doesn’t disappoint, and he is here for the long run.
“Staying At Tamara’s” could very well be the sound of Spring 2018.