2020 has made it hard for many people to connect with and reach out to their loved ones. This is something Natalie Duque and Ramita Arora have taken to heart and woven into their EP Letters to Our Loved Ones. Through 8 tracks, theyreaches out offering comfort and support in a difficult time.
Written in the middle of the pandemic and via virtually collaboration, Duque and Arora blends coffee shop vibes with large orchestral elements. Both Arora and Duque have been wrapped in music since childhood and are now combining their talents for a touching soundscape. Building bridges of hope, the EP will leave you feeling a little lighter.
The EP starts with ‘Me and You’ which draws you in with this delicate piano line. There is a softness to the melody that you float away on. The vocals lightly rest on this piano line as she fills you with good vibes. There is a lot of power in her performance as she makes you rather emotional. The beauty of her performance creeps into your chest and rests lightly on your heart before tugging at your heartstrings.
‘This Time’ swaps the gentle piano line for a light guitar line in the opening. The vocals continue to fill you with emotions with a light harmonisation that adds a little something to the flow of the music. While the song has a hint of sadness resting in the vocals, there is also a sense that things will be okay. There is a poetic beauty to the lyrics and vocal delivery that wraps around you like a soft blanket.
The gentle guitar continues with ‘For Worse or Better’, but there is a slightly different vibe to it. There is something light about the melody of this track that fills you with a bright energy and a sense of hope for the future. This hope is infused into the lyrics and vocals which crest over the melody like the sun peeking out from dark clouds. There are strings hiding in the lower levels of the melody that add a depth to the music and a touch of wistfulness.
‘You Can Talk to Me’ has a very friendly feeling to the opening that is a little reminiscent of Israel Kamakawiwo’ole. The easy vibes of the song have you thinking of sitting on the beach with a close friend or family member just enjoying their presence. The vocals enhance this vibe as they are a light and warm touch on your ears. The clapping tones that break through the melody have this wonderful feeling that just adds to the laidback vibes.
The next track starts the instrumental side of the album with ‘Me and You (Instrumental)’. That delicate piano line again grabs you, but the lack of vocals somehow makes the song even more beautiful. The flow of the melody matches your breathing as you float along the pastel colours of the music. The strings that swell in the depths add a grand sense to the melody that you do not get with the other version of the track.
‘This Time (Instrumental)’ also packs a harder emotional punch than the other version on the album. The shuffling notes that meld with the guitar line add a steadiness to the melody while the piano line has a sadness resting in it. The poetry of the lyrics is transformed into the deep beats and almost waltzing dance of the musical notes.
The light vibe of ‘For Worse of Better (Instrumental)’ brings the good relaxed vibes. The strings in the background offer the steady hope the lyrics in the other version had. The higher notes that come in later in the single create a sense of understanding and connection. The strings really steal the show on this single as they swell with a wonderful gentleness.
The EP ends with ‘You Can Talk to Me (Instrumental)’ which seems to enhance all the laidback vibes of the vocal version. The clapping and clicking notes are clearer on this version as they add this middle layer to the melody. While not completely devoice of vocals, the humming tones add to the relaxed vibe of the music. This version fills you with warmth like the summer sun heating your skin after swimming in the ocean.
Natalie Duque and Ramita Arora reach out filling you with comfort and support with their EP Letters to Our Loved Ones. The tracks all have an exquisite beauty to them that sinks into your skin to leave you feeling hopeful and happy. The instrumental versions pack a different emotional punch but are just as beautiful as the version with vocals.