Alutepena Hughes-John offered us an insight into her mind with her EP Lockdown. With her latest EP Without a Care, she delves into an eclectic range of music and topics. Including songs she wrote years ago about friendships to another look at thoughts about lockdowns and restrictions, the EP takes her further from being a stereotypical ukulele player.
While she has been busy with her own music, she has also been working in collaboration with a music composer for a different project. Even though she is an artist with many plates in the air, she is always pouring her passion into her music. With a touch of guitar added to her ukulele sound, she continues to draw listeners in her new direction.
The title track ‘Without a Care’ starts the EP with a gripping vocal opening. Hughes-John’s vocals in the opening are really interesting with an almost stop-start arrangement that pulls you in only to abruptly halt and start again. This opening moves to a more melodic flow as you are drawn to the poetic lyrics that really make you think about the state of the world. Under the thought-provoking lyrics is an equally captivating melody. There are a lot of melodic elements crashing and weaving together from rolling guitars to popping drums and bells that shine like lights.
‘I Told You So’ has a more melodic flow compared to the opening track. The melody has a somewhat retro feeling to it that shines in the swell of strings that call to you. The deeper melodic line brings a modern edge that wonderfully complements the retro tones. The vocals really show what Hughes-John has to offer with beautiful rises and falls. Her vocals are really easy to connect with and relate to as her delivery is like the thoughts that flit through your head as a friendship breaks down.
There is a real summer feeling to ‘Platonic’ that makes you think of long grass and gentle breezes. The vocals are a high layer on the track that floats like wispy clouds across the sky of sound. As with the last track, the lyrics are easy to relate to as they detail an experience that many people have gone through. As you float on her vocals, she takes you through the experience of a friendship with someone you wants things to be more than platonic with.
The last track of the EP is ‘She Played with Colours’ which offers a very different vibe to the rest of the EP. This is a cover of a song written by a guitarist from a band Hughes-John was in years ago. There is a more galactic atmosphere to the single that has your mind flying out into the stratosphere. While a cover, there is something uniquely her woven into the performance. The harmonising vocals are wonderful and add to the cosmic feeling of the song.
Alutepena Hughes-John brings four very different songs together for a wonderfully eclectic listening experience in Without a Care. Each track offers poetic lyrics that get right to the heart of the message while offering you something wonderfully relatable. The different takes on each track also highlight her musicality continuing to show that she is much more than a ukulele player.