Anna Fraquhar’s new EP turns back towards the purity and intimacy of organic folk-pop in a genuine and heartfelt manner.
From the opening guitar picking and equal delicacy of Anna’s nearly whispered vocal lead, Again introduces an artist with a quickly emotive style. The writing and melody unite amidst a passionate performance, to lay bare a powerful sense of loving uncertainty and melancholic reflection.
Beautifully presented, with vocals that increasingly lean towards strength over subtlety – suggestive of a much bolder delivery to come, whenever the moment arises.
This decidedly honest writing style, willing to underline vulnerabilities in a deeply human manner, continues throughout the EP. Musically, things are ramped up a few gears – Me and You is a faster-paced, almost EDM-ready track, with long-form verses and a hefty beat. Still, those gentle, characterful vocals prove captivating, authentic, and respectably original. Anna undoubtedly has a strong sense of identity about her music.
A country-pop ballad emerges with strummed guitar and plenty of space for the song Stay – a mellow, mid-project track, which builds up gorgeously and drives with a certain inclusive vagueness when compared to the previous two. Perhaps the most mainstream-ready of the EP – a song that could easily become the our song of struggling couples far and wide.
To You From Me strikes as potentially the most interesting – the opening lyrics and Anna’s defiantly unique voice craft something special early on. Then you get the marching drum, the longing and affection of the lyrics, and there’s a melodic up and down between lines, which recurrently washes over the room like waves.
Changing direction once again, the title-track offers a seductive blues swagger. The rhythm and energy peak, Anna’s voice reaches superb new heights; first hinted at early on in the collection. A massively satisfying hook rounds things up well. A personal favourite, well worth a few spins at volume this lockdown.
Throwing in a touch more Americana is the song Let Me Fall, one that feels instrumentally ready for a Tarantino flick. With a bold sense of desperation and resentment, the piece walks through complex, stream-of-consciousness-style verses, towards the ultimate resolve of a hook that hits with subtle comfort and finality. Another highlight, and another song worthy of crisp, quality speakers or headphones that fully immerse.
Really nicely done, a refreshing and truthful EP, from an artist with an easily recognisable sound.