Emma Grace is not a singer-songwriter. Rather, it’s the name of a duo from Toronto, neither of whom are female or have Emma or Grace in their names.
Zach Crystal and Sam Sokoloff haven’t been making music together long but it’s clear that they have chemistry on their debut recording. Being a new act composed of only two people, there are certainly limitations to the two-man approach but Crystal and Sokoloff seem to make the best of it.
The music that the two produce most often consists of some kind of electronics in the background and guitar and drums in the foreground. The songs often feature a build as more and more sounds are added into the mix.
The opener “Wait” starts with people chattering and talking before the main melody comes in. The main melody is a few beats with acoustic guitar and the brushing of drums. The chorus tells the listener to “Wait for me, I’ll be here/I’ll be waiting outside for the rest of the year.”
“Feel” is one of the more catchy songs on the album with two sets of vocals which always sound like they’re just about to overlap but never quite do, speaking of “summer in the winter.”
“Out of my Window” has a constant piano riff in the background and some simple drumming. Both Crystal and Sokoloff can be heard contributing vocals and it takes on a laid-back and sunny feel. Meanwhile, “Daydream” starts off with an acoustic chord progression which eventually forms the background to the dreamy (true to its name) song.
“Far Away” is another strong song that classified as sunny. What starts out as a laid-back tune takes on a more rock edge as some more pronounced electric guitar is added into the mix.
The final song “Tris” ends the EP on a more sombre note with mournful “ooh’s” in the background and sad-sounding chords.
The EP is a good starting point for this fairly young band. Emma Grace have just scratched the surface of what is possible with two musicians and future recordings will most likely show some positive growth.
The 190 EP is a free download via Bandcamp.
Top Track: “Feel”
Rating: Young Hoot (Decent)