George Ezra delivers the perfect sophomore album with Staying At Tamara’s

After the wild success of his debut album Wanted on Voyage, George Ezra only had himself to live up to with his second and much-anticipated release Staying at Tamara’s. After ‘Don’t Matter Now’ was lapped up by the anxious fans, Ezra continued to tease us by releasing four single tracks which twee album artwork which further heightened expectations.

The album did not disappoint, providing an eclectic array of pace, style and topics within the compact 11 song range. Ezra’s trademark youthful baritone is the unique characterising attribute any young singer could hope for, allowing him leniency in his style as the vocals are always recognisable. In this album Ezra capitalises on having a trademark vocal much more than in his debut, exploring slower more contemplative sounds in his collaborative track ‘Saviour’ with First Aid Kit and sharing his own experience with anxiety in ‘Get Away’. Ezra did indeed get away to create his newest album and did so by staying in the cultural landmine of a city featured on his previous album, Barcelona, whilst staying at, you guessed it, Tamara’s. The one month break offered idyllic scenery and a relaxed lifestyle where he could focus on his writing without the distractions of home and let the sun, sea and sand permeate his lyrics and inspire the summery sounds enveloped within the album.

Staying at Tamara’s begins with ‘Pretty Shining People’, on the surface an upbeat and catchy number ideal for long car rides, but underneath it offers a musing of what it’s like to be in your mid-twenties during such a tumultuous “time to be alive if you’re prone to overthinking”. It concludes optimistically with a message of solidarity, that “we’re alright together”, and the album in itself is experientially collaborative, recounting times Ezra’s shared with friends or his girlfriend in the romantically infused tracks ‘Hold My Girl’, ‘Sugarcoat’ and ‘All My Love’. Standout tracks include the fast-paced, upbeat, BBQ playlist essential ‘Paradise’, divulging in the ecstasy experienced as you’re falling in love. Another is the afrobeat inspired sounds of ‘Shotgun’, with an introductory guitar sliding into repetitive synthy backbeats and a dangerously catchy chorus that, if heard one too many times, will have you on trivago booking a last minute holiday you most definitely cannot afford.

In Staying at Tamara’s Ezra has re-delivered the goods that went down so well from his debut, feel-good tracks with catchy chorus’ that will be enjoyed by your mum, nan and little sister. However, the true success of this album is how Ezra has created an explorative dissection of what it’s like being in your mid-twenties, dealing with first proper loves whilst shouldering the weight of the world. He reminds us the relief we find in solidarity, such relief his fans will inevitably experience in the ambient crowds during his upcoming sold-out tour this summer.

Andrea Loftus