A quieter rage from inside.
Two albums in and it feels like Sarah Walk has cemented her place in the pantheon of superb piano-based alt-rock musicians. With her new EP ‘Simply’, she has reworked a few of her tracks into alternative versions and recorded a few new tracks too. This is a slightly stripped back release showcasing a more contemplative side to Sarah Walk’s music.
Firstly, the three alternative version tracks are all sublime. ‘The Key’, which was such a centrepiece in her recent album ‘Another Me’ takes on a more rustic desert acoustic vibe. Gone is the lush production smears and instead we have acoustic guitars, scrapers and shakers. ‘Same Road’ takes on an early Sarah McLachlan and Joy Askew vibe with sludgy drum loops hiding under a quiet and light acoustic melody. Sarah’s voice is also lighter and airier too, something that carries across the whole release. ‘What Do I Want?’ also gets a heartfelt electric piano and vocal rendition with distant electric guitars hiding deep in the distance too. It feels very Lou Reed.
Three new tracks grace us too, although the ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ cover preceded the release. This cover of a cover allows Sarah Walk to wax new paint and shine onto the song and give it her own spin. The first three-quarters of the track is delicately performed but as the outro beckons, a rockier side is bubbling under threatening to take over as the emotions rise. It is beautifully cinematic and caught me off guard on first listen. Sarah makes the song her own with ease. ‘Secrets’ is the most poppy that Sarah Walk has been. It has a chilled and breezy mid-tempo track with nods to reggae with a snazzy bassline and cute electric guitar embellishments. It sounds nothing like another else she’s put out to date. ‘Simply’ is a beautiful piano ballad with muted minor chords that feels quite curious early on. Like other tracks on this EP, the track blooms outwards over time. By the end, it feels quite clean and uplifting when the backing vocals and the outro seeps in. The EP feels much like a cathartic closing on a chapter and a look onwards to happier times.
Whilst I’d recommend checking out ‘Little Black Book‘ and ‘Another Me‘ first, ‘Simply’ is a lovely addition to Sarah Walk’s catalogue. If you enjoy the softer side of the singer-songwriter genre or want to hear a musician who writes music like a confident 1970’s pop-rock star in their prime, you’d do well to pick this release up.
Recommended track: Simply
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