EP Review: Stray Weather - Tragedy

Words by Daniel Rourke

Starting in a back bar in Huddersfield, it's been a long and difficult slog for Stray Weather. Despite the odd bit of turbulence, project creator Mikey Brown has persisted in pushing his spoken word project to the best of his ability, and it's finally come to a head with the release of his first full band EP, 'Tragedy.'

'Tragedy' sees Brown ditch the Doctor Who and Ice Cream inspired poems for a more personal take on life. Opening with Weathered it's clear there's been a lot of growth between the release of 2014's 'Epiphany' EP and this.

Weathered may not stray far from Brown's style of poetic writing, but it does take up a more serious tone. Opening with the line: "I can't stand the weather, I've never liked the rain, and you rained down on me almost every single day" the shift in tone is instantly noticeable. However, it is in the tone shift that you notice the importance in the addition of the band, as the atmospheric synths and the occasional distortion play off Brown's words seamlessly.

The more serious nature of 'Tragedy' is evident throughout What If,  as it sees Brown questioning life and its meaning. It is then that Right Isn't Right strikes. Placed perfectly, Right Isn't Right breaks up the raw emotion with a tongue in cheek look at Tinder, and all it's downfalls. It's here that Brown's writing abilities truly shine, as the dourness of  previous tracks is diminished for a quirky outlook on the popular hook-up app.

Romansick and L complete the EP, the latter ditching the band for a fully fledged spoken word piece on bitterness and misplaced trust. It's a fitting end to the EP that will have you emotionally invested one moment, then laughing and singing along the next.

Whilst the new look of Stray Weather may be a little more serious, and Brown may have ditched most of the pop-culture references for a more personal touch, there's the sense that something great is going to come from this release, that maybe, just maybe, British spoken word giant Kate Tempest will have some competition in the coming years.