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  • Chris Farlie

Emma Swindells Radio Silence EP

We have been looking forward to this EP coming out since a weekend in June when Emma Swindell's and her band kicked off the early morning slot at Buckle & Boots with the wake up call that was "Radio Silence" the opener and title track of this EP. Built around an incessant riff and with some great guitar work and some pounding drumming this is going to challenge many to have to reconsider what they expect from Emma Swindells. With a failing relationship shot through the prism of as many radio based terms as could be encapsulated in one song, "static mood", "signals down" etc. It makes for a cracking start to the EP, the electric guitar during the final chorus will come as a great surprise too many, in a good way I hasten to add.

The "Lover & My Best Friend" is one of those songs that Emma does so well live, where she effectively breaks down the fourth wall and seems to address the audience during the verses as if she is telling you a story. It's the story of being "stabbed with a double edged knife" betrayed on both sides, With verses driven by some an acoustic guitar and some excellent percussion, while the chorus is pure pop .

"Carry Your Load" finally gives Emma's banjo a chance to get near the top of the mix, in a tale of not wishing to be surrounded by "constant negativity" someone who is forever dragging you down. Once again there's some excellent sibling drumming that drives this song along and a chorus that towards the end manages to include some backing harmonies as well as incorporating the banjo.

"Disappear" offers a slightly different sound, opening with a piano and a gently strumming guitar

There's some beautiful sisterly harmonies going on and some synth strings on the only song not to feature any drumming at all.

"Lost For Words" opens with a bright breezy guitar riff that could easily carry the song on its own but it then moves into a song once again driven along by some wonderful drumming which unusually is allowed to be the lead instrument on the verses. Perfectly capturing lyrically the awkwardness that comes with meeting someone "Love makes me so shy - embarrassed and tongue tied".

We were impressed with her debut EP but this shows a progression in songwriting style and greater confidence in the recording studio. This should bring the BCMA Horizon Act winner sharply into focus and we'll get an early chance to check out this new sound as she'll be part of Hard Country at the Hard Rock Cafe on Monday February 12th


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