An unknown quantity in this part of the world, Canadian singer/songwriter David Myles has a simple, direct and unpretentious lyrical style that takes some time to get used to. He also possesses a voice that, at times, recalls both Paul Simon and Jack Johnson, a double edged sword if there ever was one. After listening to Into The Sun‘s title track – with its stating the bloody obvious lyrics and its pretentious and annoying earnestness – this scribe was indeed ready to fling this CD into the sun. However, one should never judge a book by its cover or, in this case, an album by its first track.

Over the course of Into The Sun, Myles develops and shapes his music in a likable and agreeable way. The songs featured on the album have what could be described as an indirect sprinkling of African and world beat leanings. Myles is a big fan of world music, which really helps give his songs a somewhat different sense of being to other guitar based songwriter music. This is where the link to Paul Simon is at its strongest in a good way. The vocal harmonies on “Don’t Look Back” really have a wonderful zap and ping to them, combining beautifully with the acoustic guitar riff. This is one of the strongest tracks on what is definitely a grower of an album.

As a vocalist, Myles has a charming and agreeable sense of timing and delivery. It feels like having a chat with a friend over drinks and some food, such is the direct quality of the lyrics Myles writes and the way that he sings. It does take a bit of getting used to, but it is worth the effort.

The album features some lovely and quite compelling instrumental interludes such as “The Sea” and “The Bottom”, which really show off the band Myles has assembled for Into The Sun at their finest. “The Bottom” in particular has a delightful and jazzy feel to it. Into The Sun would be a great album for one of those sit down dinners, very civilised parties one holds every so often.

Sonically, Myles’ style and take does, at times, sail too close to that of sensitive New Age hippies with acoustic guitars such as the aforementioned Jack Johnson and John Butler. However, his implementation of unusual instrumentation, such as the organ intro and almost bossa nova like shuffle of the utterly delightful “Nina” really take what Myles does somewhere new and interesting. “Falling In Love” is another highlight with a really disarming combination of a beautiful groove and lyrics that paint and depict a timeless and vital life experience. A beautifully positive and life confirming track.

Into The Sun is a little bit different from the majority of what is out there at the moment musically; an album that, while it takes time to find its groove and feel, is definitely worth the time and effort.

– Neil Evans