Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 8.5/10
To hear Daniel Astles is to see the point of naming an E.P. Full of Wonder, it does obviously allude to the songs contained harmoniously within the song listing, it does offer the sincerity of the music captured and the respect deserved. However, if you were to choose a title for the young man’s release then you would probably think of him anyway, you would align your thoughts on the whole package and come up with the same belief, that indeed it is Full of Wonder.
Following on from the impressive live recording release at Liverpool’s Nordic Church, it would be a tall ask for anybody to replicate, the sense of calm and beauty offered not an easy one to hold up and replace in the hearts of the musician’s fans and yet with assurance of spirit firmly held open for all too see, the beguilement of the angelic and pure come steaming into view on the horizon and soon announce themselves in time honoured fashion. A simple gesture of peace displayed, no indignation of futility or absolute pride to be seen skulking below the decks; Full of Wonder is a set of songs that reflect perfectly the man and his stance.
The songs themselves are carried by the voice, haunting, virtuous, bordering on innocence and life; they frame the human spirit but also realise that temptation is very much a human factor in anything. It is possible after all to be heard to have the voice that makes angels weep in joy but also one that gets the Devil carried away.
I Was Just Getting There, Night’s Strange, You Are (Full of Wonder), Death Is Love and Don’t Turn The Light On all combine to make the Devil smile in appreciation for the human temptation, to covet the songs as art, for that is the true wonder of the tracks on offer, they are fiery but chaste, they have the glint in the eye that keeps roving but are authentic and above suspicion; they are tracks that are Full of Wonder and a marvellous addition to the fledging discography of Daniel Astles, a name to savour.
Ian D. Hall