Honest, pure, raw, delicately powerful, visual, dark, introspective, textured, emotive, sensual, deep, touching, full of feeling, sonically simplistic, minimalist, not trying to emulate, unusual.
Just some of the words I’d use to describe my initial reaction to EERA’s eponymous debut EP.
This 4-track stunner opens with ‘White Water, the Norwegian’s latest single release. It is a delicious combination of moody, grungey guitar chords, intermittent elongated splurges of electronica, and darkly complex lyrics delivered with an almost other-worldly vocal.
In contrast, ‘Drive with Fear’, is a melting pot of several sketches: shimmering, whirling dervishes of synths, low almost monotone basslines, solemn funereal organ sounds, and snappy drum loops. Brief interludes of horn add warmth, colour and texture, while the two-toned vocal switches from husky to delightfully angelic, crossing through EERA’s full vocal range. Evocative and poignant, ‘Drive with Fear’ summons images of EERA reaching out with vocal arms, imploring the listener to “drag him out”. This track sparkles as clearly and brightly as the diamonds EERA sings of.
‘Marry Me’ is an hommage to the artists grandparents. Assuming the voice of her grandmother in conversation with her late husband on the cusp of what would have been their 60th wedding anniversary, this is a touchingly penned love poem set to a meld of jewellery box noise and a mini rock opera complete with ghostly choral harmonies and a dramatic build in the form of a guitar driven crescendo.
Starting with electronic pulses, a dull low slung thrum, short spacious drum rolls and EERA’s vocal at its most pristine, it shifts weight through a clever tempo change into a dark guitar lead sequence, whilst still maintaining that sense of space until it hits the chorus line. A beautiful sparkle of ballerina jewellery box music carries the song through to a blush of harmonies and serrated guitar chords underpinned by a continuum of bass. Again, there is another change of tack. At times distorted, at times pleading, EERA’s vocal gymnastics bounce off a many layered guitar instrumental interspersed with bursts of what sounds like contorted fairground organ.
“I spoke to him late last night, after I laid a cloth on his face, the love of my life,
My shoe fell on the floor, no need to reach down, I’ll stay here until I can feel him,
Oh Marry me …Thanks for showing me, journeys I couldn’t do on my own, please wait for me,
Oh Marry me, again … Hold on”
EERA’s vocal on this track is nothing short of remarkable, as she performs it in at least four different styles, continuously altering the tone, timbre and pitch to marry the moments in time of this grand-maternal monologue. The best track on the EP, it’s pretty spectacular stuff. Complex, beautifully vocalised and more than dramatically arranged, ‘Marry Me’ lovingly pieces together the emotional chapters of what must have been a truly wonderful romance.
“There are so many ways of dying, the worst one is to continue on living”
The EP closes with “Undressed,” a lush one woman and her guitar track. It is pretty much just EERA singing with her electric guitar until just past the mid-way point when a series of noises, horn, acoustic guitar and a mille-feuille of vocals bring this most delicious of EPs to a close.
It is quite uncanny that EERA has sprung from nowhere into the consciousness of so many so quickly. Undoubtedly she has cut her teeth over the course of some years, gigging, open micing, honing her lyrical craft and so on. But to pen, arrange and produce a debut EP as arrestingly beautiful and breathtakingly honest as this is simply quite remarkable for someone so young and inexperienced in the world of recording. If this is what EERA is capable of on her first outing, what is to come with her first album should be pretty amazing. 9/10.
The EERA EP is out now via House Arrest in both vinyl and digital formats.
Clear vinyl – http://smarturl.it/Eera.Clearvinyl, Black vinyl via Rough Trade – http://smarturl.it/Eera.RoughTrade
Amazon US – http://smarturl.it/EERAAmazonUS & Spotify – http://smarturl.it/EERAEPSpotify