By Tara Schoenborn

Lewis Watson could be the next British artist of the emotive Ed Sheeran mold who makes it big.

With the music industry’s recent panty-dropping English male artist obsession, it feels appropriate to add yet another Ed Sheeran to the mix: Lewis Watson. Last year, the Oxford native dropped his first EP, It’s Got Four Sad Songs On It BTW, and actually outsold some of today’s top singer/songwriters, including our boy Sheeran. This past October, Watson released his second EP, Another Four Sad Songs, which continues the acoustic guitar, sexy English accent, and heartfelt lyrics from his first EP.

In “Once Before,” Watson sings audibly against an upbeat sound, making it easy to understand the lyrics despite the accent. It’s also emotional, which is why the song is so good; if it lacked the feeling behind the lyrics, no one would listen. This is true not only for Watson’s songs, but for a lot of other artists’ music right now as well. It appears that audiences are being drawn increasingly to songs loaded with personal meaning, be it Taylor Swift (God help us all) or the increasing number of British artists who seem particularly good at pulling it off.

All of Watson’s songs are pretty calm and, at times, are almost too similar to each other. But after a close listen, it is clear each song has a different personality. While “Once Before” is just a classic, touching, acoustic song, “Sink or Swim” has more discordant harmonies, which portray more of a sense of longing, yet it is still really soothing. “Even If” further differs from the other two because it is catchier, almost sounding like a slow pop punk song.

The thing that ties them all together is that Watson clearly has a personal connection to all of them and shows this through the extensive emotion he puts into his voice. This is why he is the next big artist to watch. Not only does he have that alluring British accent and soft acoustic sound, he can actually write his own songs and cares about their content. Watch out, Sheeran, looks like you’ve got some competition! Be on the lookout for the March 26 release of the rising star’s next EP, The Wild.