"Been Around" by Green HandsReview
Good news for all of you who have been as excited as I have by the emergence of Green Hands over the past couple of years: their new EP ‘Anyplace, Anywhere, Anytime' is out on March 1st via Leamington's Stingo Collective.
Even better for those whose patience couldn't stand that wait, one of the tracks from it, "Been Around" comes out as an appetiser tomorrow.
In fact you'll already know another EP track since "Laughing Now" came out back in October.
In fact "Been Around" has itself been around a while, predating the band itself as it originates in a previous collaboration of Jack Telford's and dates back to 2016 and its actual recording took place in 2022 (with Tim Malkin at Leeds' Green Room Studio).
A sort of hymn to a greatly enjoyed year's sojourn in Bristol, and ".. how, looking back, I wish I could have stayed longer. Did I leave too soon? Did I do the right thing? Did I miss out on something good? Ultimately though, it accepts that all good things come to an end, that our focus must firmly remain on the here and now."
I grasped the quality of vision & musicianship of Green Hands the moment I first heard a track by them. What one doesn't get from a single song are senses of breadth and range: those have come by assembling the pieces as revealed to us over time.
What emerges from such a process is that as a writer Jack not only possesses a forensic acuity into human emotions, but he can apply this not only to many situations but articulate his observations (including of his own feelings) in such ways that we not only understand him but what you are listening to is an enjoyable song in its own right. Around him he has a set of collaborators (Jake Greenway, James Knight and Ciaran Scanlon) both skilled & sensitive enough to realise each composition along these lines. Originally more of a solo project with a looser circle of contributors, this is now a "proper" band & it's possible to discern some aspects of this in the more exuberant recordings which are evolving from the introspection of earlier ones.
"Been Around" is, I suppose at heart a song of internal reflection, not to say conflict and uncertainty: suffused with aspects of nostalgia. Just the sort of song which a lesser group might indeed craft into a navel gazing ballad. Which is emphatically not what you get. Instead Green Hands unleash their inner jangle-pop (that they cite the La's and Bluetones as touchstones makes perfect sense) and let fly with sparky drumming, upbeat vocals and thrilling trebly guitar figures. It take a good writer to express themselves effectively in a song: it take an even better one to work the fader labelled "counter-intuitive". The genius of this song lies in all these factors & omitting even one would have diminished it.
Sharing space on the EP with the previous song about a relationship ending & two further & very different emotional spaces (I shan't spoil the surprise by telling you precisely what just yet), clearly the whole record will demonstrate that range & diversity I mentioned above.
Green Hands start a UK headline tour to follow increasing live action in 2023 & I hope to offer you a live review in due course: on the evidence of the recordings, they must be great.
As a final word, I'll leave it to the band who have said of the EP "with an empathetic ear and a friendly embrace, Green Hands offer a warmth like that of an open fire, to get you through the darkness of winter"