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Stanley June: Maps & Minutes

A raw rock offering that wears its heart on its sleeve.

11 Jul 2017 / Opinion, Review / written by Elmarie Kruger

Stanley June’s colourful album artwork represents the dynamic sound of its contents. As he did on his debut release, “Imitating Art,” June once again displays his lyric and melody-writing talents on his latest album.

The album opens forcefully with the track ‘Different Eyes’. The track’s roaring guitar riff and positive lyrics are attention-grabbing, which strengthens the track and makes it the ideal introductory song. The album’s powerful pace is upheld by ‘Holding On,’ of which there is also an acoustic version included on the album. With slower verses and a more upbeat chorus, this track’s guitar accompaniment and vocal arrangement make it reminiscent of Fall Out Boy circa 2005.

Continuing in the early 2000s punk rock vein, ‘Never Let Me Go’ (alongside ‘Maps & Minutes) boasts a soulful bridge-and-chorus combo that makes it one of the album’s highlights. ‘Million Miles Away’ still has a vibrant melody, but the lyrics are more nostalgic, which make for a memorable combination that carries the emotionality of the track well.

‘Horizons’ showcases the softer side of June’s vocal abilities and breaks away from the other tracks, which are decidedly more rugged. It too is an emotive track with poetic lyrics, while ‘Devil Sleeping In’ features a more country-inspired sound, buoyant guitars and a passionately delivered performance.

The majority of the album features interesting variations in style and tone, from the jagged ‘Phantom in the Fog’ – which is so strident you’ll grow a five o’clock shadow just by listening to it – to the slightly more pop rock sound of ‘Define Love,’ which plays like one of Aerosmith’s gentler tracks. Another noteworthy variation on the album is the addition of female vocals on ‘Southern Sky,’ which features Corné Crous of Paper Plane City.

‘My Medication’ and ‘Towards the Sun’ are both anthemic tracks, and while the vocals falter slightly when it comes to higher notes this adds to the honesty of the music.

It’s clear that June has established the stylistic direction he wishes to take his music in without shying away from variety in his sound.

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Listen to “Maps & Minutes” below on Deezer.