With their second EP, duo Emma Hunter and Tom Bruce explore the world of desires, longing and fear. Here I Go dives into the dark areas of desire with a flamenco-inspired flair that transports you into the story woven through the tracks. Through most of the EP, the duo explores the world of Yolanda with divergences to look into feelings of fear and failure.
While tapping into the darker side of life, the EP draws out the light from the depths of the darkness to offer a glimmer of hope. The continued merger of Hunter’s experience as a singer-songwriter and Bruce’s experience as a drummer brings an epic swirl of sound that you are unlikely to forget. The duo have been performing together since 2019 and have headlined slots at the Oxford City Festival streamed show.
The EP opens with the title track ‘Here I Go’ which introduces us to the character Yolanda as she thinks about the toxic relationship she is in. The soundscape warbles and twangs with a dark energy that tumbles through your chest. The guitar has a cinematic vibe to it that would not be strange on a dramatic movie scene. Hunter’s vocals have a seductive edge to them as they dive into the thoughts of the track and whether ending the relationship is the best solution. Her voice is powerful as it rises to send shivers running down your skin. The melody bolsters the movement of the vocals for a layered richness.
‘Nightingale’ has a groovier vibe as the jazzy bluesy drums beckon you into the heat of the track. There is a sultry vibe to the vocals as Yolanda starts to fall in love with someone else. The dark jazz vibe brings a new edge to the track but there is a really epic production to it. You can easily imagine the track being played in a jazz club or with a big band in a full theatrical production. There is a deep desire woven into the track that is rather irresistible as it hooks into your senses and pulls. Through the fall into desire, there is also an urge to make a change to enable a connection with the other person. The steamy vibe of the track is utterly addictive and you may find yourself playing this track again and again.
The duo takes a step away from the story of Yolanda for ‘Treacle Well’ which falls into the world of fear and failure. This diversion has a rather surreal feeling to the opening that has you falling down the rabbit hole of the track. There is an intense layering of sound and vocals that makes you want to focus on everything at the same time while washing you away with the combined whole. This intensity can bring a slightly panicked feeling that gets your heart racing and your shoulders tense with a feeling of general unease. The acapella sounds lead you into the deep beats that march you through a dreamscape while the vocals call for help.
The EP comes to a close with ‘Window’ and its rather nebulous opening. There is a swirling feeling to the opening that forms the basis of the track and that the guitars float over. This track has a very deep message woven into the lyrics as it considers the personas people use to hide their true selves. It also touches on the way we view people and whether we are seeing below the surface. The haziness of the vocals blurs the edges of the track which enhances the messaging of the track. The lilting flow of the vocals is hypnotic and loops you into the movement of the track. The chanting vocals pack a serious pleading punch that cannot be denied.
Through the four tracks of Here I Go, Emma Hunter and Tom Bruce move through sultry heat, dark desires, panicked dreamscapes and hiding personas. Each track has its own flair while adding to the intricate and complex story of the EP. The tracks also showcase the varied abilities of the duo that moves from dark-pop to cinematic jazz while keeping you utterly mesmerised.