Andrea Rankin explores the cycles of life in her aptly titled EP Tides. Through the tracks, she looks at how life moves in waves with feelings that we think will be around forever only for them to crash against the shore like the tide. This reflection on the movements of life is done to the gentle waves of delicate vocals and light melodies.
The observations threaded into the EP also explore the ease and gentleness of Rankin’s musical style. Drawing on her musical theatre background, she sends you tumbling into her lyrics and the emotional waves of each track. Taking on the emotional waves of life, the EP leaves you feeling new energy and gives you a different perspective of events in your life.
The EP starts with ‘The Party’ which looks at the people who enter our lives only to leave it a mess. You are drawn into the song by the almost ambient and atmospheric opening. The deep beats in the background propel you forward while the piano line adds a sense of sadness to the track. There is a sense of hurt in Rankin’s vocals when they enter, but there is also a hint of resilience. Through the lyrics, you are brought to the realisation that we are all capable of being the one who hurts others. You are also filled with the idea that it can be hard to be friends with yourself.
‘Blush & Bloom’ continues the gentle opening lines of the first track. However, there is something ethereal to this track that sends you into a mist-filled landscape. The softness of the vocals is a delicate dance across your senses as the piano-driven melody gently winds its way in the background. There is an easiness to this track that lets you relax as you listen to it. However, within this easiness is a sense of temporary comfort.
The piano line stands out more in the opening of ‘Dizzy Moon’, but melds so wonderfully with the twinkling notes that tap across it. Rankin’s vocals have a brooding depth to them on this song as you are drawn into the theatrics of the vibe. The vibe of the song makes you think of open spaces in the middle of the night with only moonlight to light your way. Her vocals create an intimate feeling to the song while the melody has a more expansive vibe.
The next track is ‘Heal’ which has a jazzier vibe to the opening. The shuffling notes make you want to sway to them and gently sends you in a different direction to the previous tracks. Rankin’s vocals continue the jazzy feeling of the melody as she effortlessly draws you into the lyrics. This song highlights her vocal abilities as she moves from a deeper jazzy vibe to higher ethereal tones. You can easily listen to this track when you need to relax.
‘White Flag’ open with a more stripped-back vibe than the other songs, but Rankin’s vocals add an interesting layer. Her performance hits on a higher level as she draws you into the atmosphere of the track. There is an imploring feeling to her vocals which is countered by the more grounded melody. There is a wonderful vibe to this song created by the interplay between the vocals and melody that form two separate yet intertwined layers.
The EP ends with ‘Fine’ which draws you in with an almost playful opening. The melody makes you think of a bubbling stream with the sun reflecting off it. Rankin’s vocals have an easy flow and you are easily drawn into her sound. There is something addictive about her vocals on this track that will not let you go. Combined with the melody, you are set adrift on a soft soundscape that twirls you along the sonic current of the track. This is the perfect ending to the EP and is potentially my favourite track on the EP.
Andrea Rankin takes a look at the cycles of life through the gentle waves of her EP Tides. Each track hits your chest in a different way, but they all send you floating on the current of her music. The EP is a true showcase of what she has to offer and the versatility of her musicality.