We all get our start in music in a different way, but Eaves' was pretty ballsyâ¦
"My friend booked a gig and his guitarist dropped out two weeks before," Eaves, aka Joe Lyons, tells TG. "I was like, 'I'll learn guitar and play a gig!' So I bought a crappy guitar and played that gig. Then the singer left, so I said, 'I'll try singingâ¦'"
Since then, the Leeds-based songwriter has evolved into a direct and affecting musician. Debut EP As Old As The Grave features three economical, yet quite stunning productions, most notably the beautifully fingerpicked Alone In My Mind (For Mannington Bowes) â an amalgam of Nick Drake, Bright Eyes and Buckleys Tim and Jeff â and channels Eaves' folky side. But there's a little more than that going on hereâ¦
"I love the band Mastodon," he tells a surprised TG. "All of their albums. Their guitarist, Brent Hinds, and his way of chicken-picking, I wanted to apply that toa dark folk thing. So the album I'm making at the moment has those aspects. It's acoustic based, but it's a rock record."
That currently-untitled record is due to be released in April and will reportedly offer more variety â everything from nine-minute, full-band freak-outs to solitary singer-songwriter moments â all anchored by Joe's trusty Martin 00-15M acoustic.
"As soon as I got my management deal, they said, 'What guitar do you want?' andI said that one," explains Joe. "I'd never played one, so it was a massive risk. It got sent to the coffee shop I was working in, I pulled it out and I was so frightened â I'd never had something so nice in my life! I couldn't sleep for a week, I was just playing it and playing it and playing it."
Produced by another dedicated collaborator, Cam Blackwood (George Ezra, London Grammar), the record has been put on hold while Joe finishes upa European tour supporting Nick Mulvey ("a wizard"). Then it's back in the studio and back to what he does best.
"I try and be as honest as possible," says Joe of his writing. "Sometimes it can get quite dark, but if that's the mode that I'm in, then I can't pretend otherwise. You can't just paint a pretty rainbow across it [lyrically or musically], because it's not going to come across. You're fooling people then, and I don't like that."
- For fans of: Nick Drake, Jeff Buckley
- Hear: Alone In My Mind