EP Review: David Thompson - The Wall

David Thompson returns with a strong synth pop EP.
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For David Thompson's second release as a solo artist, The Wall, Covid had an influence on his backing band. With everyone in quarantine, Thompson decided to play all the instruments on the album (save for two songs featuring guitar work by Howe Pearson) and self produce it as well. The result is an EP chock full of 1980s-influened electronic pop that showcase Thompson's strong songwriting skills and pop sensibilities.

The EP leads off with "Time," a track that blends eerie sounding keyboards and reverb drenched vocals. The track is an ode to early 80s New Wave and its black and white video juxtaposes images of war, people working, and people playing baseball with the inner workings of a clock. The song has a heavy electronic feel and a deep bottom end.

"The Wall" follows. A warm and melodic, upbeat track, it features Howe Pearson on lead guitar. Pearson doesn't overplay, playing to suit the song. Thompson gives a pleasant vocal on "This Goon Can't," a mid-tempo track that uses keyboards both as a rhythm and lead instrument to great effect.

Pearson returns on guitar for "Claire," a musical detour for the EP. While the other tracks are steeped in the 1980s and synths, "Claire" is a slice of jangly 60s pop with acoustic and electric guitars. Thompson pushes his vocal range on this standout track. The EP returns to electronic pop on the quirky and mechanical album closer, "Obsession." Thompson wears his influences on his sleeve but never sounds derivative while doing it.

Thompson made the best of a bad situation with the pandemic, writing and recording a strong EP. With The Wall, Thompson has proven he can be a one-man band and that his songwriting skills are strong. While he probably wouldn't like to record all of the rest of his material this way, The Wall is a strong exercise in lockdown creativity.