Songs of genuine appreciation and celebration of the good things in life – whatever they may be – can often sound mawkish. Sentimentality is tricky to navigate, even in assured hands.
Tennesseean Steve James Wylie has created a country-esque EP (country-esque because there is rock and pop in it) that is a work of appreciation for many things in his life – big things like his faith, his marriage and his children, as well as the little details of daily existence that a lot of us need to be reminded about.
The EP is crisply produced and Wylie has a clean, clear voice (and great diction – always a plus for me as it takes the hard work away for the listener). This is a collection of songs about joy, really; Wylie avoids over-sentimentality by singing them seriously, which serves to emphasise the point that everyday joy deserves to be taken seriously – we all need it, and we all need to work at it. He sounds like a man who doesn’t taken anything in his life for granted – there is a shadow of sadness in his voice that is not at odds with his lyrics but which, rather, makes them more poignant. Overall, this is a finely balanced piece of work and no doubt Wylie has more on the way.
Everything I Love by Steven James Wylie is available now.