George Ezra – Gold Rush Kid
Summer anthem king George Ezra returns to the spotlight with third studio album, Gold Rush Kid. With chart-climbing singles and recent high profile promotional performances (namely the Queen’s Jubilee concert), the bar is already set high. It feels like a natural progression of accessible and likeable pop from predecessor Staying at Tamara’s – but now with more introspection at a deeper level.
The singer-songwriter with the signature baritone, husky vocals has now perfected his catchy sun-drenched formula with poppy hooks, repetition and a sprinkling of fanfare for good measure. The album begins in that vein with feel-good bops, notably Gold Rush Kid itself with its clap-filled rhythm, along with brass-splashed and gospel-esque Manila. Ezra continues his trademark globe-trotting stories with latest release Green Green Grass, a safe, sunny belter inspired by a St Lucian funeral with the lyrics “you better throw a party on the day that I die”. Often simple but almost purpose-built for singing along, it sounds like the British artist is more than ready for festival season.
The record then takes a less expected, cloudier turn, and the second half explores a softer, more vulnerable side, as well as delving into themes far from smiles and rainbows. Highlights include the reflective Fell in Love at the End of the World, electronic, wistful Don’t Give Up and beautifully delicate In the Morning, which sings about moving on; they execute Ezra’s repetitive formula in a different, often more poignant way. There’s also the more sombre I Went Hunting, contemplating mental health, which is delivered in a contrasting falsetto, as well as hopelessly soppy and stripped-back ballad Sweetest Human Being Alive, which screams “wedding slow dance song” for future summers. However, the commitment to the slowed-down direction means some other tracks risk fading into background music. There are experimental moments that are less convincing, for example, electro-tinged Dance All Over Me, which reminds one of the Mark Ronson/Miley Cyrus single Nothing Breaks Like a Heart.
The British chart-topper doesn’t disappoint with his more mature but still grounded latest release. He sounds pretty happy with the finished product, too, with closing track Sun Went Down featuring the lyrics “so happy I could die now”. It’s joyful but not blindly so. Both previous albums ended up with overwhelmingly standout organic hits from listener demand (a la Budapest, Shotgun) so it’ll be interesting to see which will end up as the shiny nugget in this gold rush. There are certainly a few gems buried within Gold Rush Kid once you give it a few listens.
Photo: Adam Scarborough
Gold Rush Kid is released on 10th June 2022. For further information or to order the album visit George Ezra’s website here. The album is available in Hi-Res on Qobuz and all the major streaming services.
Watch the video for the single Green Green Grass here: