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The Last Verse:

Tyla’s keeping his powder dry and his creativity flowing

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The cover of Tyla's EP, 'I'll Keep My Powder Dry'.

The cover of Tyla's EP, 'I'll Keep My Powder Dry'.

The cover of Tyla's EP, 'I'll Keep My Powder Dry'.

enniscorthyguardian

ONCE upon a time in a period called the 1980s there was a band that flirted with chart success in Britain, Ireland and across the European continent called The Dogs D’Amour.

To be fair the band had some degree of success with singles likes ‘Satellite Kid’ and ‘How Come It Never Rains’ but despite the fact the band never achieved the international acclaim that their talent deserved they released a string of fantastic albums through to the early ‘90s that embraced the swagger of the Stones, the raucous rock ‘n’ roll attitude of the Sex Pistols and the bluesy sincerity of John Lee Hooker.

The band’s singer, Tyla J Pallas, is the embodiment of a rock survivor. Not just content with being a fantastic lyricist and songwriter he’s also a poet and artist. His original artwork adorned the covers of the Dogs’ albums and they also embellish the covers of his own solo releases, which have remained constant over the last 30 years.

His recently released EP, ‘I’ll Keep My Power Dry’, is a truly stunning collection of songs and continue the rich style synonymous with an artist who has to be one of the most prolific songwriters that Britain has ever produced.

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The EP was released not under his own name but under the moniker ‘Tyla’s Dogs D’Amour’ and from the cover image of pistol-toting skeleton pirate King to the final note of the last song the CD perfectly showcases an artist who is true to himself, to his fans and to his creative art.

The title track gets things under way and does so in a fantastic manner. 

The production is crisp and clear and the acoustic nature of the track is wonderful to hear. Tyla and the Dogs D’Amour have always played a fine balancing act between high-octane upbeat distorted hard rock and completely melancholic acoustic moments with each being as perfectly executed as the other.

‘I’ll Keep My Powder Dry’ is set to a brilliant descending chord progression and Tyla’s vocals are fantastic.

His voice as the raspiness associated with a life of hard living and the fact the accompaniment is relatively sparse - guitar, bass, percussion and piano – there is a loneliness to the song that is compelling.

The production is excellent and the clarity enhances the overall enjoyment of the listening experience. 

The subtle use of backing vocals is brilliant and from a songwriting perspective the way they are used to enhance the mood of the song is excellent.

Of the song itself and the resulting EP, Tyla said their origins can be traced back to December 2019, when a Scottish friend of his passed away aged 50.

That resulted in him penning ‘Stole My Love Away’, the second song on the EP, however, the pandemic then hit in 2020 and as he said himself “millions got ill and lots have sadly died” including another close friend of his.

However, in November, 2020, something happened which he admitted “got my back up” but on the advice of a good friend he ‘kept his powder dry’.

He wrote the EP's title track that night and by the following weekend had the other tracks composed as well.

‘Stole My Love Away’ is a laid-back, country blues song with a slight ‘60s swing feel.

There is a familiarity to the song that is very interesting. It’s like one of those tracks that you hear and think “I’ve heard that before” but a lot of that is probably borne from the fact the song is written to a standard chord progression complete with stepped structure on the chorus.

These are subtle nuances of songwriting technique but they are extremely effective and serve to create an immediate good first impression on the listener.

The accompaniment is, again, relatively simple and sparse with just piano, acoustic guitar, bass and percussion providing the backdrop for Tyla’s passionate vocals.

There is some clean electric guitar in the accompaniment too and that gives the song a slight country feel.

The third track on the EP is ‘Mad Bad Jack (live in Tokyo)’ and it’s fabulous to hear it included.

The live setting is where Tyla’s songs really shine and it's also the environment in which he excels as an artist.

It’s a solo performance with just Tyla’s voice accompanied by an acoustic guitar and it’s wonderful.

There is something majestic and beautiful about one voice, powerful lyrics and a warm acoustic guitar sound. It’s music and song in their purest, undiluted form and for stirring the emotions nothing quite beats them.

The final song on the EP is a fully acoustic version of ‘I’ll Keep My Powder Dry’ and it provides an alternative perspective on what is a fabulous song. 

It’s raw, emotive and sincere and when it comes to Tyla that’s what you expect.


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