GARETH DONKIN is a young (he’s 23) London-based music maker who’s just starting out a career . Earlier this year he released a single called ‘Geek Out!’ which he described as “new wave sonics with a palette saturated in soul”. Thus from that title and the description, you can guess that we’re talking about something quirky, esoteric and certainly different and those three adjectives can be applied to the music of young Gareth’s debut album, ‘Welcome Home’ which has just been released  by the “drink sum wtr” label  – back to quirky again!

The ten tracker looks unprepossessing (cover above) and it’s the sort of thing that that could be so easily overlooked but it’s already winning plays and interest from a smattering of soul tastemakers – tastemakers, we have to say, who have nothing against blue-eyed soul!

Tracks winning attention are ‘Tell Me Something’ (which has the timbre of Michael Jackson about it) and  a crisp and sprightly ‘Something Different’ which shows where Mr D’s coming from – the dance floors of the 70s and 80s! Ballad lovers should  go to ‘Nothing We Can’t Get Through’ – a  full-on, harmonic production. Quite different is the jazzy, bossa nova flavoured ‘De La Soul’. And it’s surprises like that and the rather special harmonics that are the album’s real calling cards.

It’s odd that  given the quality of those three tunes (indeed the whole album),  we’ve been  told that it was all  written and recorded in a series of bedroom studios in England and France! ‘Welcome Home’, you see is a very polished affair – hear shades of artists like Mamas Gun, Jamiroquai and the previously mentioned MJ while  the set can be classified under blue-eyed soul, yacht rock even pop but it’s worth checking if you like something just a little different.

Thanks to Toby Walker of www.soulwalking.co.uk for sourcing this one.