We all have people in our lives who we see as villains at some point, while we might never realise that we are the villains in other people’s lives. This concept has been picked up by Rula Savira and turned into her aptly-titled EP Villains. Through the tracks, she considers not only the villains in our lives, but how we are perceived as the evil in other people’s lives. This has been tempered with two poems, inspired by Game of Thrones and Taylor Swift’s lyricism.
Not only is Savira drawing on perspectives of people and pop culture, she also adds a dash of pop-punk and the emo scene, which have always been close to her heart. The exciting combination of tones, styles and themes through this EP shows that she is an artist with a lot to offer. With tracks that range from spoken word to art-rock and pop-punk, there is something for everyone on the EP.
The EP opens with the first of two poems ‘The Least Honorable Man’ which is Savira’s ode to the Game of Thrones character Jaime Lannister. The music has a really dramatic feeling to it that adds a feeling of power to the poem. The spoken word vocals are provided by Fadhlan Saelan and he brings an undeniable emotive chill to the lyrics. As he infuses each word with passion and emotion, the melody undulates to add to this. It is a captivating opening to the EP that instantly captures your attention and has you eager to hear what the rest of the tracks have to offer.
‘Prison Break’ is the first track of the EP that deals with the villain theme. Through this track, Savira uses a foot-tapping rock vibe to look at how we see ourselves as the villain. This track is so different to the opening one that you are thrown for a loop, but in the best way possible. It is addictive in a new way, as the pop-rock vibes of the melody grab your muscles and get them moving. Her vocals have this great splash of sass as she unleashes the villain imagery into the track. The lyrics are packed with the ideas of what she can do as a villain, but there is an underlying thread that makes you consider what is causing these villainous thoughts.
A different approach to the theme is taken by ‘Villain’ which looks at us being seen as the villain by others. Not only does the single bring a new perspective on the theme, but it also has a completely new sound. There is an alternative pop feeling to the melody, that has a deep beat that warps through your senses. This leads you to a chorus that has you swirling in the movement of the electronic tones. There is a confrontational edge to the lyrics as they bring a conversation between a villain and their victim. It is an interesting take of the idea, as you are confronted with the attacks of the villain and the attitude they bring to their threats. It is a really catchy track that makes you want to turn it up and call out with the vocals on the chorus.
‘Ghost of You’ is the last melodic track on the EP and offers the last take on the theme. Through the song, Savira looks at us perceiving other people as the villains in our lives. The strummed guitar brings a rainy day feeling to the single, which is enhanced by the vocals. Woven into this song is a touch of heartbreak that makes it unique on the EP. Unlike the confrontational edges of the last tracks, this song has a reflective feeling that considers the lingering effects people have on our lives. The effects focused on by the lyrics are the negative ones that tear into your self-esteem and keep you feeling small after the person has left. It is a powerful song that most people will be able to relate to.
The EP comes to a close with ‘Wise Man’ which is the second poem of the EP. The dramatic tones of the opening track make a comeback for this track, creating a wonderful circle through the EP. While the opening drama of the melody links to the start of the EP, the rest of the melody is unique as the strings and piano take a new route. The vocals from Nadzira Zafina send shivers through you as her spoken-word performance grasps the power of the melody, to elevate the message of the poetic lyrics. Through the poem, you are filled with an inner strength that lets you shake off the chains the villains in our lives have left and move on with renewed confidence.
Rula Savira considers the impact others have in our lives through the concept of villains and perceptions in the aptly titled EP Villains. Each track takes a different view on the central theme, bringing something new and interesting to the EP. The two poems that open and close the EP are powerful, but also help to enhance the messaging of the three melodic tracks.