Solo album number seven for Gorky’s Zygotic Mynki leader Euros Childs finds him treading no new ground, creatively—a crime for most artists, but not for this Welsh songwriter. Summer Special is uncomplicated, unpretentious, and almost minimalist; often times, we’re hearing nothing more than keyboards or guitar, rudimentary (but never amateurish) percussion, and Childs’ voice. His music has always bore comparison to Paul McCartney, and that’s not changing here, either; it would not be too much to imagine “That’s Better” (with a melody that sounds awfully close to Elvis Presley’s classic “Burning Love”), “Roogie Boogie,” or “Painting Pictures of Summer” being found on a McCartney bootleg of his 70s era. Fans of last year’s Jonny, his (so-far) one-off collaboration with Teenage Fanclub‘s Norman Blake, will not only enjoy this, but will discover exactly how much of an influence Childs brought to the project. All but one of the songs found on Summer Special are quite upbeat, and when he slows things down on the wistful “Skipping and Dancing” (with a simple melody that reminds of Vince Guaraldi‘s famous Peanuts work), you realize the depth of his abilities.
It’s criminal that a talented artist such as Euros Childs finds himself having to give away records as wonderful and lovely as Summer Special. It’s a shame because, like almost every album that bear his name, it is one of the loveliest pop records you’re going to hear all year—especially if you like your pop to be a little sweet, a little bubble gum, and excellently arranged and sung by one of the truly heavenly voices of our time.