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Eden Roberts - Crying Birds EP Review

28 Mar 2014 // A review by RodrigoHidalgo

Already hearing of Eden Roberts through X-Factor last year, I was pretty interested to hear what her EP would sound like and in which direction Eden has decided to take her music. Eden Is an 18 year old X-Factor Contestant hailing from Auckland, New Zealand. Her acoustic guitar is her main instrument of choice and of course her lovely voice. She has been featured on a number on Play It Strange albums since entering the Lion Foundation Songwriting competition in 2010 which is where she made a commitment to becoming a singer/songwriter and hasn't stopped since.

It was a beautiful, sunny day when I received Eden's EP Crying Birds in the mail so I sat outside with my laptop, plugged in my headphones and listened away. While I was listening to the EP I definitely appreciated the beautiful artwork on the EP cover. With all the silhouettes of birds flying one direction with some being more faded than the others and a tasteful blend of soft colors which really represents the style of music Eden is playing on the EP well. 

The first song Crying Birds kicks off with a lovely, well produced guitar melody with the vocals closely following. First thing I noticed, apart from her singing/guitar, is there is this very processed, electronic instrumentation backing up her vocals which to some may very well seem adventurous but personally I thought that its presence kinda took the spotlight away from the singing. I also felt the song didn't really have a solid structure. I hear the electronic drums building up one minute then playing a weird off beat the next. Eden's voice was accompanied by a male voice in complete harmony with Eden's voice which also took away the spotlight, with the male voice being almost as apparent as Eden's voice. This is quite a drastic change to what I had previously heard her play with simply just an acoustic guitar. I really like her indie, spoken word-poetry kinda feel, I think it really fits in well with the concept of Crying Birds with her lyrical content being something definitely something worth listening out for. 

The second song Angels definitely caught my attention after hearing more of Eden than anything else as opposed to Crying Birds with her voice being the first thing you hear and it using more acoustic instrumentation rather than highly processed electronic drums. I really like the lyrical content on this song with some real nice poetry standing out like the line "It's up to us, to lift them up, it's up to us to hold them up".

The third track Blue Home I originally heard as an acoustic session which I enjoyed and kept me listening the whole way but this version of Blue Home sounds a lot more once again, processed. It's hard to not hear the drum machine driven beats scattered all over this originally acoustic/folk influenced song. 

My favourite song on the EP has to be the last track I Will Be. Simply because most of the song is just her with her guitar. It's the sound that most people know her by and it's great. Her acoustic-folk driven style really shows in this song as well as her very descriptive, vivid lyrics singing mainly about finding beauty and inspiration not only in herself but to who she seems to be in love with. I like it because I feel as if she's not sugar coating, over dramatizing or coloring in her lyrics too much.

I actually really like Eden Roberts as a singer/songwriter, her poetry is actually really captivating and her guitaring is mostly really well written and melodic but in this EP I felt she has lost a lot of her raw, ambient, solo presence she has when she plays solo. There is a lot on this EP that I don't quite understand, and also a lot that I think fits. But her direction from being a solo artist to having an almost random backing instrumentation on some tracks I think gives me a different idea of her than I originally had. I feel that I would of enjoyed this EP quite a lot more if it was simply Eden with her acoustic guitar.

If you're into some spoken-word poetry, indie acoustic pop style music i'd definitely check her out. I do hope to hear more of Eden in the near future and I will surely keeping my eye out for any new material and/or performances. 

Rodrigo

 

About Eden Roberts

National Woman's Musicianship Award SmokefreeRockquest 2011, Play It Strange Peace Song Award 2011, Stand Up Stand Out Instrumental Winner 2012.

One listen to Eden’s debut EP Crying Birds tells us we are listening to an old soul.

Eden Robert’s songs are driven by uplifting melodies, delivered with passion and conviction by a glittery voice, at times possessing a raw bluesy feel. The acoustic guitar is a constant in Eden’s songs – maintaining her intimate folk singer/songwriter style when other elements such as electronic drums, synth, and electric guitar are added.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Eden Roberts

Releases

Crying Birds
Year: 2014
Type: EP

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