Martin Reynolds – I’ll Crawl

I’ll Crawl is the latest single from UK based artist, Martin Reynolds. We’ve been taking a good long hard listen here at the Send Me Your Ears studio today.

Reynolds plays all the instruments on this track as well as being the mixer and producer.
I’ll Crawl is inspired by Martin Luther King Jr, and everything that’s been happening in the world over the past two years. From protests and people’s attitudes to current events and to moving forward and being part of the solution and playing your part. As Reynolds asks; “Which side of history do you want to be?”

I’ll Crawl is based around a Mumford and Sons style strumming pattern on guitar. The song develops with second guitar, harmonies and backing vocals coming in for the second verse. There’s very good use of double layered vocals in many places throughout the track and the additional guitars help to bolster the overall interest and soundscape.

The handclaps are a nice touch, and apart from a little gentle and distant tambourine, these serve as the only percussion in the track.

We also love the rather fun backing vocals under the handclaps. Nothing like a few “ba da badas” to make a song come to life!

Like Mumford and Sons, there’s some good use of silences throughout I’ll Crawl. The silences work well to draw in the listener and make them pay attention.

With a stinger ending, simple chord sequence and minimal instrumentation, we feel that I’ll Crawl is a good candidate for a TV sync deal if Reynolds can seek this out. The BBC, and AMC are particularly using a great deal of gentle folk style music in their shows at the moment and something like this would be a great choice.

Reynolds vocals are strong and characterful. We felt a slight touch of Paul Heaton (Beautiful South) in them. We liked the lyric; “There’s that turn of phrase again – it is what it is”. We loathe that phrase! It’s the kind of sentence people use if they’re resigned to something, rather than being the force for change that Reynolds seems to be encouraging.

I’ll Crawl is perhaps missing a trick by having very little low end in the track. Bass and a kick drum may have just balanced out the overall EQ spectrum a little more. The guitar is the only instrument creating any low end (as far as well can tell – perhaps there is bass in here, but if there is, it’s not showing up on our analysis!). The acoustic guitar could do with a gentle notch out at 210Hz (G#) which is slightly dominating. We’d also suggest a drop around 1kHz in the vocal track to counteract just a slight honk, probably caused during the recording process, and a boost of the top 2 octaves will add a little more brightness and clarity into the track.

Martin Reynolds’, I’ll Crawl, is a great call to action Folk Rock Song. It demands the listener really think about which side of the fence they want to land on, and is a positive challenge that has clearly been well thought out. I’ll Crawl is an uplifting and creative take on modern folk music.