Despite not being the most imaginative of titles, Lewis Watson’s fifth EP ‘Some Songs With Some Friends’ does exactly what it says on the tin. After launching his career on YouTube, Watson’s popularity and recognition has accelerated with each EP release, and ‘Some Songs With Some Friends’ documents his ongoing progression as an artist. The lead track ‘Even If’ was initially released on his second EP, ‘Another Four Sad Songs’, yet it now features a more extensive production to heighten Watson’s angst of his ‘big mistake’. Even with the support of a full band, the song still remains sincere in its message and sustains a level of intimacy with the listener, which is reassuring that the heartfelt songwriting of Watson’s origins has not been disregarded.
The following three tracks of the EP feature Watson collaborating with fellow musicians, putting their own spin on some of his favourite songs. Gabrielle Aplin, who also took to the internet to promote her music, joins Watson on the first track, covering Jason Reeves and Colbie Caillat’s ‘Droplets’. The duet is stripped back to just an acoustic guitar, a familiar simplicity from Watson’s early songwriting, allowing us to appreciate the harmonious intertwining of their voices. The third track takes a different atmosphere, as Watson and Kimberly Anne give a haunting rendition of Everything Everything’s ‘The Peaks’. The mellow opening guitar riffs and powerful bass line drive the song forward, yet paradoxically achieve a sense of tranquility. The track’s rich, soulful sound is a refreshing comparison amongst the EP’s other acoustic songs, and Watson’s interpretation highlights his diversifying production that points beyond the boundaries of an acoustic artist.
The Irish duo Hudson Taylor collaborates with Watson for a cover of ‘Colorblind’, originally by Counting Crows. The trio’s voices blend effortlessly, complemented by the expressive counter melody on the violin and heavily pulsing percussion. It’s clear to see from ‘Some Songs With Some Friends’ that Watson’s music is evolving, as he is experimenting with a broader spectrum of instrumentation which adds musical interest. With each EP release, Lewis Watson’s sound is maturing, showing promise for his long-awaited debut album in the not too distant future.