On first listen, this has a light, poppy feel. Emma’s voice is warm and rich and although she never falls into the trap of showing off, the power in her voice sits nicely as a potential. You can hear it is there if she needs to use it, but the lyrical honesty of the tune is perfectly reflected in the way Emma carries the song and tells the story she needs to tell. The lyrics to this song take on a strange new meaning after a year of forced anti-socialisation. It is almost a yearning cry to a simpler time. I have a feeling in a few months “Hangover City” is going to have a population that makes Mexico City look like Bedlinog and I hope Emma Mae is there to entertain us. A nice opening song that definitely leaves you wanting more of Emma’s voice and narrative lyrical style.
More of a laid back, R‘n’B ballad feel kicks off the 2nd song, but it soon leads into a big hooky chorus. Emma’s warm, breathy delivery again really shines through. Her own harmonised backing vocals adds beautiful depth to the choruses. It’s a nice hook, and a real toe tapping, heartfelt song.
Emma really seems to open herself through her lyrics and her honesty helps to draw the listener into the song.
Wish I Didn’t Love You
Another great pop song. There’s a stripped-down part for a pre-chorus which is really interesting. Emma’s vocal range is probably shown off the best on this song too, her voice sounds fantastic all the way through, again though, always authentic and without ever being showy.
This is probably my favourite song from the EP. It sounds like a hit pop record. The chorus is still buzzing around my head as I write this. The lyrics seem to tell the story of a girl being driven to the edge by someone who can’t see a woman as anything other than a prize. Lyrics though, especially when personal and heartfelt can often be hard to interpret from the outside. Whatever story Emma is telling through her songs its one that bears repeat hearing, with a hook that will not leave my head.
I’ve listened through the EP a lot and it’s a really enjoyable listen; at 15 minutes it leaves you wanting more and the choruses stay with you, demanding more attention. However, something was always nagging at me, something that felt odd, almost as if it wasn’t sitting right. I’m not sure if I should even add it in a review as it’s more of a production note but I’ve already mentioned it a few times. Emma’s song writing and authentic style of lyrical storytelling, I personally feel, sits several classes above the pop style of production that her songs have been set too. The cheap sounding midi instrumentation and percussion does everything it can to strip the authenticity bare and give it a “pop” or “charts” sheen that is really in contrast, in my opinion, to how good Emma’s music has the potential to sound.
This shouldn’t necessarily be taken as a negative, as this EP deserves your attention. I would absolutely love to see Emma Mae on stage with a live band and brass section with a room full of people singing those great, hooky choruses back at her all night, because they are songs that are built to stay with you and deserve to be heard. Excellent stuff.
“What It’s Come To” was released last year and is available to stream on all of the usual streaming platforms. Check it out HERE on Spotify and be sure to give Emma Mae a follow on Facebook and Instagram.
Simon Cullen – 07/04/2021