For many, the arrival of hard lockdown measures meant limitations on productivity, but for Durban-based singer and songwriter, Paul Renwick, this was the ideal time to create masterful melodies to be shared with the world. And, after two-and-a-half years in the making, his first EP, Double Comfort Safari, has launched on streaming platforms.
Paul developed as a musician on the local rock scene, starting out as a bassist, he played with Summersalt and later Five Fold – which included the Klynsmith brothers of Gangs of Ballet. His sound developed as he had opportunities to rock alongside Daryl Swart, the drummer of Tree63, and Esjay Jones of Stealing Love Jones, before taking on the role as frontman for the three-piece, indie-rock band, Kiev.
“When we went into the first lockdown, I got in touch with my former bandmate, Josh Klynsmith, to work on my solo EP,” commented Paul on the production of Double Comfort Safari. “Under Josh’s direction, five tracks were selected and produced, with the first release named ‘Seven years old’, the age at which I wrote my first song.”
Growing up in a musical home, Paul’s passion for music emerged early, with inspiration drawn after listening to his parent’s 60s and 70s LP collection featuring artists like the Beatles, Paul Simon and Bob Marley. Further inspiration came from 90s bands including Radiohead, Blur and Travis, followed later by Coldplay, Midlake and Phoenix.
The project name, Double Comfort Safari, came from the title of one of Paul’s favourite books, The Double Comfort Safari Club which forms part of The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series by author Alexander McCall Smith. After reaching out to the author, Paul was granted permission to use the name for his music.
Josh Klynsmith played drums, added backing vocals and produced the EP and Rusti Rossouw, a well-known name on the South African music scene, mixed and mastered it. The genre cuts across, indie-pop, indie-electronic, bedroom-pop and alternative-pop with the sound resting on an eclectic mix of synth layers and textures, simple guitar work and a strong groove element. The vocals drift along with melancholic, yet hopeful, melodies and traditional African, Arabic and Asian influences can be heard throughout.
“My songs are inspired by having to face some of life’s sometimes dark valleys, yet holding onto hope and never giving up,” explained Paul. “My lyrics are conversational, and I try to reflect on issues with an emotional honesty. My core desire is to share my music and experiences so that I can bring encouragement to people.”
Seven years old is the first release of the five-track EP, with the second release, Mountains, coming out on 17 July. Double Comfort Safari will be announcing live performances soon. For updates follow ‘Double Comfort Safari’ on Instagram, TikTok and Facebook.
Double Comfort Safari’s music is also available on all Streaming platforms; Spotify, AppleMusic, Youtube, Amazon, Deezer and more.