In the Post #149: singer/songwriter Lauren Aquilina previews her precocious fourth EP release ‘Ocean’

By on Friday, 18th September 2015 at 12:00 pm
 

Though she has only a grand total of only 20 years’ life experience under her belt, singer/songwriter Lauren Aquilina has spent the last four of those years concentrating on her music career. Aquilina wrote, recorded and self-released her first EP ‘Fools’ in 2012, when she was just 16 years old. ‘Fools’ found its way into the UK iTunes Top 10, and Aquilina quickly followed it with two more EP releases, ‘Sinners’ in 2013 and ‘Liars’ in 2014, the latter of which made it onto six Billboard charts in the US. Early next month, Aquilina will release her fourth EP and Island Records debut ‘Ocean’.

Ahead of the 9th of October EP drop, Aquilina has shared the video for the ‘Ocean’ EP’s title single. Musically, the song follows the tried and true pop formula of beginning slowly and building to a climactic wall of sound. But the real focus, as with Aquilina’s previous tunes, is on her lyrics. Inspired most recently by the self-doubt of her early days as a songwriter, Aquilina has now progressed to a place where she can look back and put those feelings into song. Here on ‘Ocean’, she keeps her vocal delivery fairly simple, choosing to let her instrumentation and production skills set the song’s unsettled and introspective tone.

The initial instrumental arrangement of ‘Ocean’ is spare, from the piano melody behind the opening line “so fast, so free, these deep blue waters drown me in jealousy” to the echoing vocal effects that bloom behind the first statement of the chorus. After Aquilina poses her central question “and they call it freedom, how can it be / when we all follow patterns and live on repeat?”, the song bursts into a wash of synthesised sound, providing a new context for the lyrics to circle back on themselves like the cyclic waves of the sea.

That illustrative songwriting device is very basic, yet also quite effective in combination with Aquilina’s natural, unaffected vocal style. The instrumental arrangement is likewise unpretentious, which suits the unresolved questioning in her lyrics very well. ‘Ocean’ might not be Aquilina’s most memorable track, but it is nonetheless a nice effort from a songwriter who is building momentum toward the crest of her own wave.

6.5/10

Lauren Aquilina will support the release of her ‘Ocean’ EP with a run of UK live dates at the end of October; all the details are right here.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/BRLALUtodaE[/youtube]

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