Soulful alternative singer, Joel Havea's Strings & Woods EP is full of tuneful songs that demonstrate his many cultural influences and musical styles. A six cut EP with two bonus songs, Strings & Woods, may find listeners comparing him to Ben Harper or Jason Mraz, but Havea is different - making a mark on the alternative scene all on his own.
The opener "Going Gone" strolls into the speakers as a lively upbeat coffee house number. With an acoustic guitar and vocals, Havea is dynamic and impressive and with this song proves perhaps that there is no lyric he can't sing. On "Going Through The Motions," the mood becomes much more R&B sounding with both pop and reggae elements that Havea acknowledge is extensively infused into his blend of stirring and moving rhapsodies. The lyrics are relatable and introspective. With "Fading Away," Havea captures a similar inflection but is more measured with his approach allowing his vocal intonations to fall within the rhythm.
The two bonus tracks "Find Your Way" allows Havea to show his alternative vibe that feels like a combination of Jack Johnson, José González and Raul Midón. The song is a sing-a-long and listeners will find themselves humming along with the simplicity of the melody whereas "Thankful" is a forceful and solemn cut where Havea shows his gratitude.
Originally from Australia but currently living in Germany, Joel Havea has toured across Europe and in New Zealand. In 2012, he released the debut album "You Make Me Believe," which was well-received my critics. As a result, Joel decided to create a new EP with a live acoustic sound and Strings & Woods definitely achieves that objective.
Final Grade: A
For more on Joel Havea, take a look at these pages: