Emily Shirley adopts a Bowie-esque exploratory, inquisitive songwriting and composition style with this uniquely ambient, interesting new single.
Leading with distant vocals, and a full yet gentle soundscape – built up from keys, with various synths and organic riffs alike, plus a fairly raw, real-time drum-line that keeps the live aspect strong – SEARCH FOR LIFE is a brilliantly refreshing song right now.
Rather than placing her voice at the forefront and perhaps over-performing or drawing attention purely with quirks and volume, Emily blends her vocal story and melody into the ambiance with natural beauty. You’re drawn in with ease, and you want to listen – it’s not forced upon you, but rather, the intrigue and imagery of the progressing tale, the changing details, captivate effectively.
As all of this takes place, the song rightfully rises up, the layers brightening and the ultimate resolve of the hook injecting a gorgeously recognisable moment of lightness and optimism.
What seems perhaps like an ode to a simpler time at first, goes onto become a bold hit of humble yet fascinating songwriting, which proves all at once other worldly and deeply personal. Furthermore, Emily’s style, her vocal tone and the whole production and presentation of this single, speak volumes on behalf of individual artistry. Hopefully there’s plenty more music to look forward to.