This EP contains five new acoustic songs, plus three alternative versions, from a singer songwriter whose wanderings have taken him from Devon to Ireland and London.
They tell of being bogged down by domestic concerns (e.g. broken faucets, lost keys) while chasing elusive dreams of freedom.
The title track, for instance, is a melancholy ode to lost opportunities and passing time: "years come and go while the world turns outside".
On Poor Boy the singer asks rhetorically "where do those big dreams go" while the dominant motif of Curious Island is that of being stuck in a loop.
I was dismissive of Seel's previous EP (Other Paths) for its lack of contemporary edge and, while Circles is not exactly modern, the songs are delivered with greater passion.
The world is still portrayed as a cruel, daunting place but Seel at least gives the impression that he's prepared to face the struggle to break out of the rut and into the flow.
Alex Seel's website