Stan - EP
In the near-decade since winning Australian Idol, the Melbourne native released five albums of dramatic, anthemic, ambitious soul (2015’s Truth & Soul infused classics by Otis Redding and Stevie Wonder with reggae rhythms, big horns, and gospel choirs). Here, though, he tones down the glossy production for something simpler: tight blues guitar (“Thank You”), fluttery harmonies (“Love Hate”), and occasional soft-pedal piano (“Find You,” a duet with fellow Maori Maisey Rika). The restraint works beautifully, creating a level of intimacy and vulnerability we haven’t yet seen from the singer/songwriter. In that way, Stan seems aptly titled. This feels like Walker, up close and personal.