Blue Genes are a family country trio, featuring mum Kay, dad Stephen and daughter Megan. The musical adventure started in 2015 and their stock has risen ever since. This new E.P. ‘Named and Shamed’ will surely see that upward progression continue.
Any EP whose opening track has the killer line “You’re a dime, dime, dime a dozen, you’re only really special to you” is going to get you off on the right foot. The song starts with that distinctive and much loved vinyl scratchy sound, before the trio harmonise the opening bars – then the country twang kicks in and you’re won over by this catchy number.
Blue Genes are slightly different to your average country band – they have two fantastic lead vocalists, who pretty much share the role. Kay is an experienced and seasoned professional who has brilliant polished vocals, while teenage Megan is already showing incredible potential – they couldn’t complement each other better. After Kay took the lead for the opening number, Megan takes over for the slower ‘As Long As I Breathe’ and this is just a gorgeous track where you listen intently for the full five minutes. It’s gentle, it’s melodic and it’s brilliant.
The third track ‘Girlfriend’ has a real 1960’s/1970’s US sound, with fantastic harmonies in the chorus that almost reminded me of Crosby, Stills and Nash. The song has a real amazing vibe to it and I had to listen to this again and again – I haven’t mentioned the vocals of Stephen yet, but they really come to the fore here in those harmonies.
‘Not the Only Girl’ sees Kay take the lead again and in this track she is singing to a friend, giving him the ‘plenty more fish in the sea’ line, but the song is much deeper than that, talking of a long and lasting friendship. I can imagine this being sung on a stage almost, with the spotlight firmly on the lead singer.
‘Right Now’ does a fantastic job of showcasing Megan’s vocals – it’s so easy to forget that this is a 14 year old taking the lead, her voice so mature. The song features a character who is ‘taking chances, having romances then moving on’ – knowing that things will change in the future, but not ready to accept that ‘right now’. It has a nice ‘live for today while you’re young’ sentiment and is delivered perfectly.
The final track is the upbeat ‘Shalalala Love Song’ where the two lead vocalists duet. This is a fun end to the E.P, which once again is something of a throwback to an earlier time, with a more poppy, soulful feel, with a great guitar solo in the middle. This will get you dancing!
‘Named and Shamed’ is a great listen from start to finish. The trio show great versatility throughout the record, while the mother and daughter lead vocalists are a joy to listen to. For me, tracks two through five are the real focus of the record, while these are perfectly book ended by the upbeat tracks at the start and the end. It might only be March, but already we have a contender for E.P. of the year. A must listen.
Download the EP here – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/named-shamed-ep/1354836726