“Regulars” is an album by a Bridgend-based singer-songwriter named Kyle David Smith, who here goes under the moniker PAY THE MAN. No stranger to the South Wales music scene, having played for local artists such as CEASARS ROME and ICANTDIE, he’s recently released this solo mini-album exploring his adoration for acoustic indie pop. Having been tagged on Facebook by three separate people in Kyle’s posts looking for promotion of this new album, it would be very much rude of me not to. So, Charlotte, Colin and Scott...if I don’t like this, I’m personally blaming you.
The album opens up with the title track and initially we get some jerkily strummed acoustic guitars, as he sings of a sense of stagnation and repetition that’s commonplace in life today. There’s a gradual build until he unleashes a far more raw, emotive vocal and the track reeks of self-depreciation in a fed-up kind of way. It’s quite a relatable opener. Lead single then “Situationship” has a far more jovial guitar tone, backed by the percussion here giving the track a far better sense of rhythm. Ironically the track seems to delve into the topic of romantic and emotional frustration; the typical issues with loyalty, perhaps a spot of ghosting and generally feeling used or toyed with by a potential partner. This is why I’ve personally been single for over two years now...none of this shit...but the track itself is fine.
“The Busker” then in turn returns to a far mellower piece of sombre acoustic that in ways bridges the depressive tones of early COLDPLAY with storytelling and lyricism more akin to say, DEAF HAVANA and it’s pleasant despite the aforementioned analogy. The 8-track mini album eventually finishes up with “There’s Hope For You Yet!” and again, we get a nicely delivered dose of more upbeat, up-tempo campfire acoustic indie-folk, even channelling subtle punk elements layered throughout the track, ending proceedings on a positive note. Any prior unmentioned tracks follow a fairly straightforward formula for the genre, not offending yet not exciting anyone at the same time really.
There’s nothing wrong with this; nothing at all, this should potentially appeal to fans of say, DAVE JAKES or JAMES VECK-GILODI as opposed to ED SHEERAN (Thankfully) and this brand of heartfelt, stripped-back acoustic delivery is completely harmless. Fuelled by life in lockdown and the resulting intoxication brought on by isolation and self-reflection, it’s about an honest a record you can find. Pay the man his dues though...he’s opened up here and it’s at least worth a listen.