Through her EP The Spiral, Serena Clara is telling the story of her life from upbringing to a search for self-identity. The EP also touches on her struggle with mental health and the strength we all have inside us that keeps us from breaking in the face of adversity. While there is a very personal feeling to the music, the EP offers raw insight into the world that soothes the rough edges we all have.
Continuing her emotionally-driven sound, she weaves poetic lyricism into eclectic contemporary pop. Though an organic morphing of sound, she draws listeners into her insightful world as she stands up for the underdog in all of us. The power of her music has led to a blossoming of her career with radio features and playlist adds aplenty.
The title track ‘The Spiral’ opens the EP with insightful lyrics that delve into the overwhelming nature of depression. The melody zips and zigs past the avant-garde vocals that sink their hooks into your brain from the first word. At times, there is a lush rise to the music that bursts into glittering specks of sound. This off-kilter melody allows the melodic poetry of the vocals to really shine. It is like the music pushes you into the lyrics and prints them onto your soul for later perusal. The music also creates a sonic representation of the unpredictable spiral of depression and the struggle people face fighting it.
‘Small Black Hole’ has a very tender feeling to the vocals as they plea for a moment of peace. While there is something gentle about the performance, the lyrics detail a fall to addiction. This is enhanced by the consideration of generational trauma. Clara’s vocals rise and fall through the track like a leaf dancing on the turns of the wind. Beneath her vocals is a layered melody that brings electronic tones to a dance of folk notes. The ebb and flow of the music has you floating only to be dragged beneath the surface by the lower tones. This movement propels the vocals and acts as the wind her performance dances on.
The rich notes that open ‘Motherlove’ have a reflective feeling that borders nostalgia. The music feels like specks of dust wafting through streaming rays of light. This turns into a moving beat that has you bopping to it while interesting electronic tones build over each other. The lyrics bring a need to find your identity after childhood abandonment. Powerful emotions are woven into the stepping feeling of the vocal performance. There is a rich well of emotion and reflection in the track that sits with you long after the single has ended. While more melodic than the other tracks on the EP, the experimental and avant-garde flow of her music really make itself known later in the song.
The EP comes to an end with the soft tones of ‘Bow’. There is an early morning feeling to the song like you sitting outside and watching the sun slowly rise. The earthy feeling of the music connects with something deep in your soul and feeds it to provide the strength you need to face the world. The lyrics consider the adversity that life throws at us and the strength you can find working through this. The experience leaves you with a feeling of gratitude and acknowledgement of the good things in life. This is a wonderful way to end the EP as it sends you into the world with wonderful inner strength.
Serena Clara brings a personal touch to her EP The Spiral while soothing the rough edges in our soul and filling us with strength. Each track has a unique movement that flows from experimental and avant-garde to tenderly melodic. Clara’s vocals are clear and dance across the melodies to bring the insights of her songs.