Owen Tromans – Your Heart is Not Broken EP

Owen Tromans
Your Heart is Not Broken EP

Use the word “folk” to describe music here in the states, and the most obvious connotations are likely artists Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell. But use it across the sea, and our British friends are likely to have different comparisons altogether. The inherent nature of folk is that it’s rooted in old music that is completely the nature of the place where it began. And let’s face it, there’s been much more history in the UK to draw from in music than in the US.

As a solo artist, the UK’s Owen Tromans draws liberally from the folk music of his land. It’s evident not only in his soothing and rich voice and storytelling sensibilities but also in his song structures and acoustic-led foundation. Yet the singer/songwriter, who has led the post-rock band San Lorenzo and performed with the post-hardcore After Rome, quite clearly has plenty of modern aspirations to draw from as well. The result is an organic affair of classically oriented songs with an introspective and well-versed foundation.

That’s the feel of the first four songs on this limited-edition EP, at least. Tromans shows off his guitar skills on the classical instrumental “When There Was Speedway” and. “The Woodcutter Song” and “The Queen of the May” show the British folk influence to Tromans’ work, while “Circle” is representative of his more modern take on the singer/songwriter genre, and the mix of acoustic and electric guitars works brilliantly here.

The highlight of this EP, however, is the fifth track, the 12-minute “John’s on the Bridge,” a reprise of a song from Tromans’ last full-length, Place. On that album, the track was a meditative, introspective piece. Here it’s explosive, done in full-band, electric style, and it’s an amazing track. It’s loud and flowing, with breakdowns both subtle and fiery, and I could listen to it on repeat despite its length.

The ingenuity of a truly talented artist always comes out of his songs, and the voice of a true original can be heard on each of Tromans’ tracks here. More than a between-album tease, Your Heart is Not Broken is a snapshot of multiple sides to an amazing artist.