Openly inspired by the haunting and melodic yet darkly poetic tones of Evanescence, Adelaide’s Matiah drives with equally expressive, smooth yet emotive vocals, and notably honest, passionate lyrics throughout this piano-led new EP Ember.
The opening and title track kicks in with a certain back and forth or hypnotic wave crashing overhead – the pulsating piano progression, the sudden warmth and subsequent space of the vocal. There’s a touch of Imogen Heap to the songwriting style, which blends beautifully with the haunting overtone of the mood.
Let It Burn follows and keeps this sense of late-night contemplation and reflective poetry at the forefront. Just piano and multiple layers of voice – we’re swept away on a level of purity as the melody rises up, before the soundscape expands and blossoms in a wholly immersive way. A powerful song, strangely familiar yet authentic and organic enough to connect in a genuine and contemporary manner.
The rising intensity is not the introduction of further instrumental layers, but rather – the simple strength and evolving passion and energy of the vocal delivery, the performance. This proves a noteworthy trait throughout Matiah’s music – an artist dedicated to and indeed lost within the moment.
Dark Fire tips its hat towards Evanescence again with this rising weight and the sudden switch from quiet calm to sudden rhythm and weight. Once more the lyrics feel incredibly personal and intimate, yet aren’t overloaded with detail so as to exclude the listener. The references and the general tone can be taken on as unique to each, and that’s where things get all the more engaging. Great piano work, great song structuring for true, powerful impact.
Bringing things to a finish is a song called Ashes, a piece that brightens the room with its opening ‘I’m awake now…’, yet intrigues with its again mildly melancholic piano work. There’s a recognizable quality to this one, perhaps more so than the others. A beautifully simple, memorable song, and a great way to go out.
Matiah pours her heart and soul into this EP – these feel like deliberately honest, open declarations or desires to connect on a profound level, and that’s hopefully what listeners will take away from it all – a sense of connection and understanding, escapism and oneness amidst the poetic chaos of life and love.