Ed Sheeran said he cried when he first heard Jamie Lawson’s songs, so we’re all doomed. The artist’s debut album under Sheeran’s first and cheekily named record label, Gingerbread Man Records, came out Friday, Oct. 16, and it’s everything you want it to be. The record, named after its artist, Jamie Lawson, features 11 tracks which incorporate the soulful, romantic and acoustically driven melodies akin to Sheeran’s style.
In an interview with Sheeran and Lawson on Gingerbread Man Record’s new YouTube channel, Lawson humbly showed his enthusiasm about signing with Sheeran.
“When he first approached me with the idea,” Lawson explained, “I thought he was joking, to be honest … Ed knows everyone in the world — literally!”
The 39-year-old musician from the U.K. is an older, wiser, non-ginger Sheeran.
Just as honest, humble and talented as Sheeran, Lawson has a seasoned and more nostalgic perspective.
Sheeran may be an old soul, but the struggles of life are shown through in Lawson’s bittersweet, wise and occasionally melancholy lyrics.
Take these lyrics from “Someone for Everyone,” for instance:
“All my friends and lovers, there’s something I’d like to say; If you feel you’ve lost a little faith along the way, if you ever wonder how you came to be here, I need to tell you that you’ve got nothing to fear. There are reasons for the way that this world works. There are reasons and though sometimes it still hurts…”
While you can immediately see the likeness between Lawson’s and Sheeran’s romantic and lone-troubadour styles, the former has a certain wholesome flavor which distinguishes his music from Sheeran’s raw acoustics. Lawson’s strong vocals are accompanied by a wide variety of acoustic, orchestral and electronic instrumentals.
This gives the sound a full body and a glowing warmth. Although most of his sounds float in a deep and steadily rhythmed stream, he wakes up every few tracks to surprise listeners with echoes of lighter harmonies and the addition of harp and guitar melodies.
I think I was most surprised by the contrasting “All is Beauty,” which reminded me less of Sheeran and more of Family of the Year’s song “Hero.”
Lawson remains unshakably translucent and honest throughout the album. He is much like how you would imagine Sheeran will sound in 10 years: unapologetically romantic and honest, but with an awareness that only the experience of age can bring.
Yet despite this, Lawson remains forever optimistic and hopeful.
After listening to the album, listeners are left not only with reflections of the human experience, but also with hope and a satisfaction for life. I highly recommend this album.