10 Apr 2021
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Emily Rice - Single Review: Arise

09 Mar 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland

Arise is the second single from Emily’s upcoming EP, Auaha. During the first lockdown, Emily set herself a challenge of being creative everyday in April, and at the end of the month she had 26 songs, of which Arise is one of her favourites. Musically it is soft jazz combined with RnB, some dub, some folk, and always with her wonderful vocals front and centre. Although there are some wonderful multi-tracked harmonies which does make one think of her work in the amazing duo Aro, overall, this is musically very different indeed. The accompaniment is modern, but the vocals are timeless, and in the 3:37 minutes she creates themes, then shifts into new directions, sometimes returning to what has gone before, and at others continuing to build and move.

This is song that creates a world where the music is almost passive, and it is the vocals which are always the driving force, and it is only really by sitting and really listening to this with headphones that one really gets the best out of it. It is far more than just another pop single; there is a great deal of experimentation taking place within the song, and it is only by concentrating on the music and shutting out the world that one gets taken deep inside the world which is being created by her voice. The instruments are there just to provide a very sparse framework for her to work against, and if there was no percussion or bass, it would be a totally different experience altogether.

Emily has one of the cleanest vocals I have come across: it contains both a naivety and purity that is so often missing in this autotuned over-produced world and Arise lets her to shine in so many different settings, from the modern pop setting to something more dance oriented as well as allowing her to blend her harmonies, so they are often the most important instrument to pitch the lead vocal against. I am so looking forward to Auaha, as if the whole EP is full of songs like Arise then it will be quite special, but until then just do what I do and play this on repeat.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )
 

About Emily Rice

Emily Rice is a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter from Tamaki Makaurau. Twice finalist of songwriter of the year while studying at pop music school, Emily has gone on to release three EP’s of music since 2012, live and perform across Europe, collaborate with countless fellow musicians and is one half of a two time Silver Scrolls finalist bilingual duo Aro.

Emily’s songs have evolved with each new project, moving through different styles and always integrating vocal looping, sprinkles of jazz and a touch of saxophone.

Her new sound is best described as chill DnB/RnB-pop and she’s releasing her new EP Auaha; a compilation of songs she wrote during Aotearoa’s level 4 lockdown in April 2020 in early 2021.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Emily Rice

Releases

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