The Best Solo Artist I’ve Heard In Half A Decade

So, as some of you may or may not know, recently I’ve been volunteering for a local studio/venue learning how to do live sound and being support for their weekly gigs. I’ve really enjoyed the experience and the atmosphere at Dubrek has reaffirmed it as my favourite place in all my hometown of Derby. While doing sound I’ve seen quite a few acts in a few short weeks and not even one has disappointed, which is a testament to the organisers for their good taste! However, a couple of weeks ago I saw what is potentially the best solo artist I’ve heard in half a decade. She’s brilliant, with an angelic voice and superb songwriting ability to make even Max Martin jealous. Her name is eam and this is one critic’s look into one of the finest examples of alternative pop music in the U.K. today.

You wouldn’t have thought from the beginning of her set that you were about to have your mind blown, technical difficulties proved to be rather stressful and she came very close to cancelling the set before it had even started. Turns out it was a dodgy cable on my end (oops! My bad!) so after quickly swapping it out and adjusting some levels, I sat back, and what happened next… any description I give doesn’t do it justice, but I’ll do my best.

Using a combination of a drum pad, a looper and her outstanding vocal technique eam built up the layers until she recreated the sound of a full band, starting with long low bass notes I would struggle to hit, just going to show how impressive eam’s vocal range is. Often hitting the microphone in order to replicate the sound of a kick drum, and constantly building the soundscape with even more layers of vocals, making the sounds of snare hits just with her voice. Once everything was in place on the looper and she’d had a moment to sway with the ethereal gargantua she had birthed for us, eam unleashed a mesmerising lead vocal that had the entire venue in a trance.

This is all done just with vocals and a looper, the drum pad was only used for one song. Considering she had just acquired the machine a few days prior, she nailed the performance, demonstrating a dedication towards practice so rare in musicians today. I’d personally love to see eam experiment with even more unusual sounds, world instruments, guiro, berimbau etc. take pop in a whole new direction while still maintaining those infectious vocal hooks.  I only really have one real complaint. Simply put, give me more! eam’s spotify page is barren of all but a few songs, and while those are great, the tracks you performed live that night I need in my life as soon as the gods of music allow. eam, when you read this, get cracking on that album. With skills like yours, you have potential for a long career in this industry. You just need to reach out and grasp it!

It is the true artists like eam that give me hope for modern music. So many critics bang on about “the good old days” and I would hold Eam up on a pedestal for all those old bastards to see. True musicianship, true dedication, true passion. That right there is a recipe for success and it is no surprise she has won awards for how outstanding she is. So, you’ve read the review, you’ve heard my thoughts, now what are you still doing here?! Go buy her singles, book tickets to her next show, do whatever you can to get more of that goodness in your ears. You won’t regret it.

Peace, Love and Cowbells,

Oscar

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