Update: The Niche website has now been taken down, scroll down the page to read the full review
The EP is available for download through the band’s Bandcamp page or in physical form directly from the band at their gigs.
For their debut release the Buffalo Huddleston Trio have released a five-song EP of pure summery optimism that perfectly captures all that is great about summer in general, and, in the case of one song in particular, summer in Guernsey.
Starting out with Chillin’, a track that has been a part of frontman Mike Meinke’s (aka the eponymous Buffalo Huddleston) repertoire for some time, we are thrown into summers by the sea as a picture is painted of friends and music mingling with youth to create something that I think most people in Guernsey, or living by the sea anywhere for that matter, could identify with.
Second song, 7/8ths, brings things back into the now, showing that the trio’s optimistic outlook is not only a nostalgic one. Once again music is a motif here, combined with discovering a new love and the combination of the two is expressed in a way I’ve not previously heard.
This may all sound like to get the meaning behind these songs, maybe you’d have to be a musician, well, I don’t think that would be the case as the ideas dealt with are done so in a way that is so universal I think they are things we can all relate to.
These two tracks sum up many of the ideas and motifs dealt with across all five tracks but it’s The Experience of Life and Breath that really show how the band, and Mike’s songwriting, manages to take a positive outlook on situations where many other musicians might find a way of making a more melancholy song.
Sound wise the Buffalo Huddleston Trio are something a bit different as they combine a guitar and vocals with violins and backing vocals and I was concerned that, on record, the lack of drums and bass might effect the sound. Well, I needn’t have worried as, much like their live shows, the combination is fantastic as Sarah Van Vlymen and Becky Hamilton’s violins and vocals fill out the top end of the sound while Mike, both vocally and with his method of playing guitar, fill the middle and lower ends creating a fully rounded tone.
This all combines with some great recording work from Simon Prince to create an EP that is both the kind of thing you can stick on and get lost in and enjoy, but also find some deeper meaning in too and showcases a trio who are more than capable of being one of the most widely appreciated and acknowledged acts from Guernsey.
And here’s a video of the band playing live at their EP launch: