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Saturday, August 1, 2015

Emily Watts – From the Blue – EP Review

Review by Tom Coombs

Music is an emotional state, it makes you happy sad, it should pulse along your body and make you think of certain things.  Some music may increase you energy or make you sit back and think of times gone past.  Music needs to create feelings in you or it just isn't working.

Coming straight from Canterbury is a singer/songwriter that has made a strong emotional début EP which floods your soul with emotion.  Emily Watts took some time away to create this five track wonder, staying in a small blue beach hut in Tankerton, with nothing but herself and the landscape before her.  Her time spent in seclusion has created a masterpiece of music inspired by the ever changing ocean.  Out on the 18th of September is ‘From the Blue’ which, for me came straight out of the blue to blow my mind.

‘From the Blue’ is all about the vocals they are at the forefront of every track and they are so engaging that you just disappear into Emily’s voice, mesmerised by it at times.  Starting with a track that you can listen to below is ‘Falling’, with its simple but beautiful piano and layers of sound which really show you what you will get from this true talent.

Second track is ‘Solace’ which seems quite a sad song, and really pulls on that part of you, the airy vocals of Emily Watts really are just incredible and the power she has with each word is amazing to hear.  The rolling piano melody in this song really captures the mood, and you can tell that there is power in the vocals, that even though kept low, that they could explode at any second.  The third track builds on the first two tracks adding more to it to make a bigger sound.

‘Shipwrecked’ adds sounds and has a faster melody but still keeps those mesmerising vocals at the front of it all.  With another rolling piano riff and some amazing hooks which you don’t always hear in solo songs, this EP is truly show casing what a pure talent Emily Watts is.  From second to second you hear something else within the song, the layering of everything is produced to perfection.  It is just not the song writing that is outstanding, it is the composition of every note.  Each song on this EP is how it should be and you can hear everything within it, nothing is missed.  I did think that the track was quite long at just under six minutes, but if that is my only negative, Emily certainly has nothing to think about with this EP.

Everything is pulled back for ‘Fold’, there is more of a jazz riff starting the song, with ethereal sounds flowing in back ground like waves.  This is a simple song but is just simply beautiful from start to finish. This magical début finishes with the dark brooding styles of ‘Crossing the Bar’, it gave me images of a smoky dark room in a basement jazz bar, it is a short under two minute track, but it just doesn't need to be any longer.  Emily’s music seems to create images and thoughts that change with every song, which has just amazed me.

If this is the quality of a début EP, then I can only imagine where Emily can grow with her sound, so what next for Emily?  Well, she is currently doing a tour of the south and south-east coast in the run up to the EP release at The Gulbenkian theatre in Canterbury.  Emily will be supported with guests Anna Pancaldi, Dan Wilde & Avi Simmons and will be a show not to miss.

The tour is as below, and from what I have heard they will be a great set of shows;

Thursday 13 August | The Lighthouse | Deal | 7.30pm [Smugglers Sessions]
Friday 14 August | The Chapel | Broadstairs | 2.30pm [Broadstairs Folk Week]
Sunday 16 August | Payer's Park | Folkestone | 1pm [Global Sounds // Quarterhouse Outlands Festival]
Saturday 22 August | Central Bandstand | Herne Bay | 1pm [Herne Bay Festival]
Thursday 27 August | The Lifeboat | Margate | 8pm
Sunday 30 August | World's End | Brighton | 4pm [Supporting Dave McPherson - InMe] 
Thursday 10 September | Deco 5 | Whitstable | 8pm [Cj’s]
Friday 18 September | From the Blue EP Launch Night | Gulbenkian | Canterbury | 8pm [Special guests: Anna Pancaldi, Dan Wilde & Avi Simmons]

We will come back with a link once the EP is released, but for now give ‘Falling’ a listen below.

5 Stars – Beautiful, emotional, magical, enough said

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