Emily Vance is of a breed that’s overly common nowadays. She’s a seventeen year-old, delightfully pretty country singer-songwriter with a pop-acoustic vibe. Think Taylor Swift. Her new EP is ‘Finding My Way,’ a four track outing. How does she handle the spotlight, though? Is it original and creative, or contrived and overdone? In this space she occupies, she can swing either way easily.
Immediately, ‘Emily Vance’ has quite the voice. The backing band is excellent as well. The production is well mixed, the instrumentation well executed. Musically, the opening and focal track of the record, ‘Serendipity,’ is very sound. Lyrically, it’s an entirely different story.
I should preface this critique with a relevant remark: I am not Emily Vance’s key demographic by any stretch of the imagination. So, when I hear lyrics like “I like the way he tells me when he thinks I look pretty / But he doesn’t know it took me two hours to get ready,” I can’t help but oddly cringe. These lyrics are painfully stereotypical.
With that said, she’s a seventeen year old girl singing about seventeen year old girl problems. What’s utterly laughable for me might be incredibly relatable to her audience. Girls her age, or younger, may really dig this for that reason.
‘Finding My Way’ is a good song, and in my opinion, much more soulful and meaningful than the previous track. ‘Falling Away’ is a staunch piano ballad that’s hauntingly performed. Finally, the title track aligns closer with ‘Serendipity.’ “We sat in the basement watching movies and talking about life.”
All things considered, this EP is exactly what it needs to be for Vance’s audience. Three of the tracks are pretty much just teenage fluff. ‘Falling Away’ is actually a gem. It’s absolutely stunning and is one of the best tracks I’ve actually reviewed in quite some time. Her performance on that track is soulful, deep, and meaningful. (Everything the other three tracks aren’t.) Vance could be a masterful talent with better subject matter, and ‘Falling Away’ exhibits that in spades.
by Brett Stewart