Halfway through listening to London based singer-songwriter Ȱ’ra Brigit new EP, I saw Joni Mitchell shades of blue. That is to say, Ȱ’ra Brigit’s voice has a Mitchell feel to it – sophisticated and restless. Though, unlike Mitchell, this is an EP is less autobiographical – less about a woman and more about women.
The opening track, ‘Wild Horses’ is a smooth ballad beginning with soft acoustic guitars that shift and bend in the background, while Ȱ’ra Brigit ‘s soft voice questions the purity of virginity. “So, lets go and run away with wild horses […] Angels watch through nervous fingers”, she sings. The energized attitude of ‘let’s jack it all and runaway’ is a delightful contrast to the film-score-like violin strings (played by Tim Gardner) that gradually build as if the women finally break free from that “gaze” that causes them “not [to] feel”. It’s an impressively intelligent song from the young singer-songwriter.
The other two songs of the EP – ‘The Goddess’ and ‘Opal’ – similarly discuss issues of gender, whereby ‘Opal’ specifically discusses the importance of crying (for women and for men) – “crying just like music is the soul, oh it’s the soul”. Yes, crying as a subject is intriguing in itself, but the mysticism that this song is able to conjure from the Sylvia Plath-like lyricism and knotty guitar picking is really hypnotic.
Sharing her sound with the legends (Mitchell) and the folk artists of today (Laura Marling) is not bad thing. Though, Ȱ’ra Brigit does seem to be leading herself down a less beaten track as this EP had little glimpses of singularity with stories that are very much her own. Let’s hope her sound isn’t too far behind.
Verdict: Usually debut EP’s are something to forget, but this one lingers on the brain under the shade of blue – a nuanced little gem.