Featured Music: Meredith Sheldon

Meredith Sheldon was a member of the Ben Taylor Band and Family of the Year. Now, she is not... Last month saw the release of this, her eponymously-titled first solo EP/mini-album via Bandcamp.

Having briefly covered her in a live support slot for The Lemonheads' gig down in Brighton back in December, it's good to finally have some recorded material to check out.

Sheldon has up until recently been mainly associated with US folk/pop band Family of the Year, along with collaborative work with singer/songwriter Ben Taylor (a fellow Martha's Vineyard resident, son of James Taylor and Carly Simon).

The debut EP shows a much greater range of songwriting than that which was heard Dando and crew - Granted, there's perhaps only so much variety that can be injected into a performance with just a voice and guitar - So it's a pleasure to hear some slick, upbeat tracks with nice studio backing alongside the more lo-fi numbers (such as Can't Explain and Free For All).

Saddle Up is a decided highlight, featuring Sheldon duetting with velvet-voiced folkster Willy Mason (another well-chosen collaboration), placed with a cranking beat and reverbed guitar melodies reminiscent of The xx. Would make a great single.

Sister too, showcases Sheldon's succinct ability to pen a great 'indie' pop tune, as do the remaining tracks, albeit to slightly lesser degree, sometimes dropping in some smooth guitar-fuzz, all backed by Seth Kasper's driving drum rhythms and with Sheldon's nicely harmonised vocals floating over all.

If this EP is anything to go by then it's not out of place to say that Meredith Sheldon has made a smart move by taking the decision to go solo, and that the future is full of promise. There's no doubting her talent.