Whisky is Lee’s first official EP release, following 2006’s To Proceed; Leave All Mistakes Behind. There have been a couple of single releases in the meantime, but Whisky is clearly the product of time and experiences. It is the first of two parts, the second, Water, will be out later in the year.

The opening track, 'Caught in Fires' sets the scene as a perfect summer anthem, brooding and expanding until it explodes, and the rest of the record follows suit. There are clearly some neo-folksy influences in what Lee is doing, and it is difficult for him to shake this background, as is the nature of his creamy pure Northern Irish tone. But it is really refreshing to witness the return to simplicity in what Lee is producing.

There are no electronics and no instruments plucked from the lute family, which have infiltrated much of this sort of stuff in recent years. It is straight up pop band instrumentation with interesting arrangements, keeping the focus firmly on what is emerging from Lee’s mouth. Nowhere is this more poignant than Harris, the middle track; a song about losing a loved one and learning to grieve. I suppose this is where the title of the EP originates.

I am always partial to unusual time signatures made to sound natural, which 'Waging War' executes perfectly, and then ironically, 'Please Don’t Leave', the final track, is in 4/4 but sounds wildly unusual. Such is Lee’s ability to have fun with rhythm, and the clear talent of the band around him.

If I had one reservation about the EP it would be that something is possibly lost on record. This is a really passionate and dare I cliché, heartfelt record, but at times it feels a little bit too polished and clinical, lacking the conveyance of depth that is underlying it. I would love to hear Lee and his band recorded live at a show, as I think there would be something magical that is automatically removed when feet step into the studio. That said it is a lovely pocket-full of interesting, rich songs, in which I hear more and more diverting detail on every listen. I greatly anticipate the follow up release of Water.