ESSA V – Another Life (2022)

Through the tracks of her EP Another Life, ESSA V takes us on a journey of growth. Each track on the EP looks at a relationship that inspired the growth that we all go through at some point. Some of this growth is the result of slow breakdowns of relationships, while others bring growth through a carefree happiness. All of them have been encapsulated and turned into moving melodies in this EP.

Packing sadness, happiness, reflections on the past and hope for the future, the EP is a real emotional rollercoaster that you have a blast riding. While ESSA V first came to life in 2017, this is her first EP following the successful release of her debut single. Focusing on electronic sounds, she writes, records and produces her music from her bedroom.

The EP opens with ‘When You Dream, Your Soul Grows Back’ which taps into life on a rather upbeat vibe. There is a slight dance edge to the sound that makes you want to bounce around with the music. The deep beats pulse in your bones while the vocals offer a lighter touch. Through the music and the vocals, you are drawn into a hyping up of yourself. The electronic edging to the vocals that comes later adds to the overall dance feeling of the music. Woven into the lyrics is a self-reflection that celebrates those moments when you build yourself up before doing something. It is a really upbeat opening to the EP that fills you with vibrant energy and a great boost allowing you to face anything.

‘Fossil’ has a darker feeling as the opening swipes at your senses with an almost oily wash. The darkness remains in the lower levels of the track, leaving a cold trail down your spine. While this darkness lurks through the bass of the melody, the vocals turn from a dark contemplation to a more vulnerable movement. Through the lyrics, you are drawn into the slow breakdown of a relationship, only to come to a brighter realisation on the chorus. While the chorus does open with a sad question, it turns into the understanding that we are changed by the people we care about, even when the relationship comes to an end. The use of fossils as a metaphor for these changes is wonderful and really brings the concept to life.

The electronic tones make a comeback on ‘Better Online’ as they warble and vibrate through the soundscape. The use of these tones creates a digital feeling to the music that perfectly matches the lyrics that touch on our online lives. As with the other tracks on the EP, the emotions of this track move from fun and carefree to sad and self-deprecating. It is an unbelievably relatable track that outlines connecting with others online, only to be let down by the reality of the situation. The happiness of the online relationship shines through the melody, only to dip with the vocals when real life doesn’t meet the online expectations.

The EP comes to a close with ‘Radio Silence’ which brings a downtempo RnB sound to our ears. There is an almost stripped back feeling to the melody as the smooth instrumentation slides out into the soundscape. This is the richest track on the EP as it carefully takes your hand and leads you into the softness of the melody. While rich and soft, the vocals settle on your chest with a strange mix of emotion. The lyrics consider learning when you need to take a step back from a relationship and stop communicating with someone. It is rather bittersweet, but utterly beautiful, as the music helps you reflect on things in your own life.

ESSA V takes us on journeys of growth through the four tracks of Another Life, bringing self-reflection to upbeat fun and rich contemplations. Each track has a unique sound that makes the EP captivating and a pleasure to listen to. ESSA V also showcases her emotive skills as she gently fills both the soundscape and your soul with the emotions of the tracks.

Find out more about ESSA V on her Instagram and Spotify.

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