5 Oct 2022

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Danica Bryant - EP Review: Ego Death

18 Aug 2022 // A review by Madeleine Howard

Hawkes Bay songstress Danica Bryant is back with her sophomore EP Ego Death, released to the world on August 19th.

Following on from her 2020 debut EP Cider, Bryant has continued to enjoy success with a string of singles, including sugary pop tune Heart Eyes and head-banging Ready To Bite. Her latest release Ego Death, cements her as one of the most unique and exciting voices in the Aotearoa music industry.

I had the pleasure of reviewing Heart Eyes when it dropped in June last year and was thoroughly impressed with Bryant's knack for writing incredibly catchy hooks coupled with memorable lyrics. Ego Death left me further impressed, but surprised that she has chosen not to include Heart Eyes and Ready To Bite on this collection of songs, both stand out tracks in my opinion. Instead, Ego Death features singles Crush and Tunnel of Love, both released in July this year, plus four new tracks, including new single Hang On Over. Despite my initial disappointment, Ego Death still delivers with an exciting collection of alt-pop tracks.

Ego Death begins with Pipe Dream, and immediately I am transported back to the early 2000's, with Bryant's twangy vocals reminiscent of pop artists such as Michelle Branch, Stacie Orrico and Jewel. The chorus is dreamy and soaring, showing off Bryant's upper register. The track is driven by percussion which drops in and out during the verses and chorus, pushing the track along nicely and creating interest. Pipe Dream is a strong introduction to the EP.

Second track Counting Clover is more country infused than its predecessor and might be my favourite track. Nostalgic and uplifting, I imagine blasting this tune in the car with the windows down on a hot Summer's day, on my way to the beach with my girlfriends.

Next is Tunnel of Love, a pop rock tune that packs a punch. A return to the distorted, grunchy guitars of her earlier tracks, Tunnel of Love shows off Bryant's skills of writing catchy, radio friendly tunes.

The fourth track is something completely different. Consisting of stripped back electric guitar and slurred vocals, White Knuckles is filled with attitude. A shift from the typical pop form of previous tracks, White Knuckles is the perfect track in the middle of Ego Death that the listener needs to break up the constant driving pop of the other tracks.

Lead single Crush is next, and while the title made me think it would be another typical love song, this track is about anything but. Instead, Crush speaks of literally crushing that arrogant, attention seeking man that we all know and love to hate. Perhaps Crush is the next feminist anthem that we didn't know we needed.

Closing track and new single Hang On Over may have the best chorus. Reminiscent of Taylor Swift sing-alongs, Hang On Over is cathartic and the best way to finish this EP.

It’s clear Bryant has been working hard to establish her artistry and refine her craft. While a noticeable step up from her debut, Bryant stays true to her roots with her thoughtful songwriting. Ego Death is cohesive, consisting of tracks that work well together and yet stand out on their own.

Danica Bryant will support the release of Ego Death with her first ever New Zealand Tour, starting in Wellington on the 31st of August and finishing in Christchurch on the 22nd of September. A promising young artist who is unlike anybody else on the radio right now, you'd be mad to miss out.

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )

About Danica Bryant

“Deliciously sweet yet shockingly bitter” (Under The Radar), Danica Bryant is no ordinary songwriter. Born to the fruitful music scene in Napier, New Zealand, her songs cover intense topics such as adolescence, mental health, and young love. “All hard guitar and pain-filled howl” (The Hook NZ), this woman bites back.

Gigging from age twelve, Bryant's career ripened when Smokefree Rockquest awarded Dizzy the National APRA Lyric Award in 2018. The following year, Bryant won Play It Strange’s national 'Who Loves Who' contest, was a finalist in their Lion Foundation Songwriting Competition, and received mentorship from music legend Bic Runga.

After opening for Kiwi legends like Jason Kerrison and Paul Ubana Jones, Bryant was cherry picked to support Elton John on his ‘Farewell Yellow Brick Road’ tour. The opportunity harvested her debut EP Cider with Tiny Triumph Recordings, as she moved to the big smoke in Wellington, New Zealand. Rounding out the year, Bryant took part in APRA's Songhubs course, writing and producing with major artists such as Matthew Young and Estère. Her 2021 single Heart Eyes debuted to immense fanfare with Radio New Zealand and set the stage for successful funding with NZ On Air that September.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Danica Bryant


Ego Death
Year: 2022
Type: EP
Year: 2020
Type: EP

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