Shon Sullivan was once given the nickname ‘Goldenboy’ by friend Elliot Smith, and it’s the name he is still using as he releases his second album, Underneath The Radio. It doesn’t just seem to be a nickname that he aquired from the late singer-songwriter, as Elliot’s influence can be heard right through this record, particularly on songs such as ‘I’m Still Down’ and ‘Blackbird at Heart’.
Sullivan’s circle of talented friends doesn’t end there however, as Neil Finn and songwriter Lisa Germano both put in appearances. Finn’s contribution on the Smiths-esque ‘Motorbike’ is quite apparent, and you soon realise Sullivan is at complete ease drifting from one style to another.
It’s the melodies that make this album what it is, ‘Perfect One’ is as good a tune as you’ll hear all year, and closing track ‘Underneath The Radio’ is a sublime piece of piano balladry.
So after years spent touring with the likes of Finn, Johnny Marr, Ed Harcourt and the Eels, it’s nice that Goldenboy is standing on his own merits, and he’s brought with him a melancholic, yet strangely uplifting record to share with us.