Album Review: Ren Lawton – Today Today Tomorrow

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Multi-instrumentalist Ren Lawton has released his debut album, Today Today Tomorrow. The North-East based artist is no stranger to the industry having played in bands and toured extensively. Having gone solo, Ren Lawton has cultivated his own, unique sound; part singer-songwriter, part poet.

The brainchild of Conor Owen, Ren Lawton came to prominence after Conor had played in successful bands, touring with the likes of We Are Scientists and The Subways. Whilst the euphoria of this exposure was tantalising, it wasn’t quite the right creative fit. Intent in incorporating the sounds and styles of artists such as Bob Dylan and Frank O’Connor into his sound and lyrics, Conor ploughed a lone furrow. A decision that has more than paid off.

Success came quickly with his single ‘Piece Of Your Heart’ breaking a million plays on Spotify. The track was taken from debut EP ‘A Calling From The Shore’ with Ren settling into his folk-inflected sound. Fast forward four years and this sound has progressed beyond recognition. Today Today Tomorrow is the culmination of his hard work throughout this time.

Opening with the title track, it’s clear that Ren’s rich vocal style immediately captures your ears. Wistful lyrical content and gentle guitar cocoon you in his world. Single release ‘Love By Night’ highlights Ren’s observational take on his life and the world he inhabits, while ‘Thinking About You’ offers an upbeat Americana style barnstormer. As you work your way through the album the feeling of diversity becomes apparent. The beautiful ballad of ‘Willow’ and the piano-led sparseness of ‘Come All You Mourners’ to the twinkling neo-folk of ‘Blue Hounds’. Current single ‘The Writer’ treads into indie-folk territory while ‘O’Kelly’s Song’ embraces the modernity of the likes of Father John Misty. As the album closes, we are treated to Ren’s vulnerability on ‘Spencer Street’ as he emotes, “Wish I was coming home to Sophie…”, before serenading us with the hopeful ‘Moral Mercenary’.

Today Today Tomorrow is an eclectic record packed full of emotion. It takes you on a journey of classic folk sounds to the contemporary, Americana to blues and indie to rock. It shows the depth of Dylan and the skill of Drake, cherry picking many influences in between. On Today Today Tomorrow, Ren Lawton has laid his heart bare and provided himself a platform to grow as an artist with each and every release.

Today Today Tomorrow is out now and available to stream and buy on all major platforms.

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