Review: Summers Sons & Charlie Tappin - Undertones EP

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Summers Sons & Charlie Tappin, an emerging hip-hop and soul act from South-East England, are becoming recognised; although these aren’t fresh faces on the scene. Summers Sons, aka beatmaker Slim and lyricist Turt, released their self-titled debut early 2015, mixed and mastered by Chemo.

A couple of weeks back, accompanied by long-term collaborator Charlie Tappin, they released their second project Undertones, which dropped on Cologne-based music label Melting Pot Music. In the build up to the release, the collective performed a Beatgeeks gig in Berlin, as well as playing at the Radio Love Love boat trip in Cologne. Needless to say, if Europe’s taking notice, the UK should as well.

The opener, Undertones, sets the tranquil tone for what’s to come. A crunchy vinyl crackles and pops as a lonely guitar, softly strummed, is joined by a cymbal and snare to offer some mellow percussion . It’s apparent the instruments were recorded by hand, the melody sounds natural and induces a calming vibe which continues into the Tappin-assisted 079.

A phone rings distantly, as another soothing instrumental kicks in. Turt declines the call, proceeding to lyrically contemplate his reality instead. Speaking with a motivated state of mind, he ultimately states that he’s going to live life on his own terms. With rhymes underpinned by positivity and optimism; Turt brings Charlie Tappin into the mix at the midway stage, who contributes a funky piano riff before Turt returns to drop another verse.

The EP then flows into the Mr Slipz produced Colours. Uplifting keys enhance the emotion in Turt's words, who explains his pursuit for  escapism. Reminiscing on days gone, from purple rainbows to summer sands; the rapper demonstrates a visually stimulative lyrical finesse which is very immersive. The beat is incredibly smooth, a must hear.

This is followed by The Feeling - to be more precise, the feeling for moving on. Depicting how music helps Turt beat the blues, he reveals slight chinks in his armour as he looks back on experiences and the lessons learnt, finding it easy to speak over another therapeutic instrumental.

It leads into Thirty Three, which see’s Turt delve even deeper with his rhymes, full of perspectives insinuating his persistent desire for success. The finale, Non Semper Erit Aestas, is a send-off made all the more poignant by a profound saxophone, paired with the piano, cymbal and snares combination that has been consistent throughout the EP. Turt says goodbye with another emotional testament to his dedication for making a career from rhyming. Certainly if he keeps making music as captivating as this, he's bound for bigger things.

Throughout the EP, Turts' rhymes are thought-provoking and positive; narrating from experiences which unravel into clear cut conclusions. Beatmaker Slim deserves props, for his instrumentals truly evoke an atmosphere of escapism throughout. Charlie Tappin’s vocals and keys also offer an extra a breath of fresh air on the beats. Providing their momentum doesn’t slow up and they keep creating; Summers Sons & Charlie Tappin have potential to make huge waves over the coming year.

Words by Evo

Matt Neville