Of all the artists to appear during Lockdown the ones we are probably most interested in seeing live are Emma & Jolie. They've already released a couple of quality singles and are about to issue a third in the shape of "How Do I Choose?". If their live shows can match their recorded output, could they one day be potential rivals for Ward Thomas in the UK female duo market.?
As "How Do I Choose?" gently opens with a mix of piano and acoustic guitar over some sonic background noises we find Emma & Jolie in something of a dilemma over a relationship.
"You make me sorry for the tears I cry
Cos it makes you angry then you won't speak to me all night"
and in case there is any doubt......
"You kiss me then you say I drive you round the bend".
The chorus perhaps sums things up neatly as the various options are played out, the choice between loving someone deeply flawed and having to suffer abuse, against having no-one and not sharing even the good times.
"Cos even if I walk away, I'll miss the way you say my name
and even if I stay, I feel the weight of your mistakes
Baby I can't win cos either way I lose"
That line about "the weight of your mistakes" is so eloquent and immediately elevates this song to another level, and shortly afterwards the song is transformed from being seen purely from Emma & Jolie's point of view, as we get to hear from the other party in this affair, in the shape of Josh Kerr who plays the apologetic boyfriend excellently
"I hate that I can be so hard on the one I love but I only get so mad because I care so much
I know i've had a second chance a million times, but please don't give up on me, please don't say goodbye"
Logically there should only be one conclusion to be reached, but affairs of the heart are never so straight forward and the song does not seek to provide the answer of what choice is to be made,
Emma and Jolie do a convincing job portraying someone in a quandary, their vocals have a certain wistfulness about them as they contemplate whether to "walk away", while Josh Kerr as mentioned earlier does a fine job in trying to put a human side to what might otherwise just be seen as brutish laddish behaviour. If the dynamic is not believable then the song cannot hope to succeed, but in this case both parties play their parts exceptionally well.
This track was co-written over Zoom and has been created with remarkably few instruments but that not has not stopped it being both incredibly original and effective.