Velvet Bloom – Where You Are

Velvet Bloom

Listening to a good song for the first time is a wonderful experience. It is an artform which conveys emotion in such a beautiful way that works so perfectly on a first listen, however this is made much better when the music is sung in a stunning voice. This was my biggest takeaway from Velvet Bloom’s acoustic EP ‘Where You Are’, as her heavenly voice elevated the music so much it is difficult to describe.

The first track on the EP, ‘Miles Away’, starts off with a smooth acoustic guitar playing chords in a simple up and down pattern before Maddy Herbert’s silky vocals begin to sing about navigating long distance relationships. There is a fantastic simplicity to the song in the instrumentation, which leaves a focus on the guitar and soft synths that play in the background below the vocals. This instrumentation brings on this feeling of fantastical farness, giving an ethereal soundscape that is present throughout the entire EP making you feel both at home and far away. It is this dreamlike sound that gives the EP its uniqueness.

As said previously, the vocals are some of the most heavenly and beautiful I have heard, but the lyrics are also so important to the music, perfectly describing the issues, yearning and longing of long distance relationships and desires for closeness. The entire song sounds so honest, discussing how it is “too heavy to hold onto while you’re miles away”, the acoustic instrumental enhances these lyrics, allowing the listener to focus on the harsh reality that is being sung about.

This feeling only continues as you move onto the next track, ‘So Long, Farewell, Goodbye’, which Herbert wrote as a letter to her father as a form of closure from his passing. For all 3 minutes and 20 seconds of this song you can feel your heart breaking as the guitars and synths build up and Herbert processes the loss in her life, singing from her heart in a tone with so much strong and beautiful emotion. This is the shortest song on the EP, but it has so much impact with its slower belting ballad style and the drawn out way she sings the title, giving the listener time to ruminate on the feeling.

The final song on the EP, the title track, is a duet with a Tasmanian songwriter by the name of Jay Jerome. Focusing on the lyrics “I wanna wake up where you are, show you all my scars and still have nothing figured out just yet”, makes the song a sweet and heartfelt closer to the EP. The raw love of the song compliments the heartbreaking EP opener, as well as the very personal middle track perfectly.

‘Where You Are’ being a duet also makes it so much sweeter, making it clear that it is just a love song that goes both ways, it finishes the whole EP off on a delightfully happy note.

I wanted to take a final moment to discuss the amazing production on this EP, from the dreamy synths and ethereal feeling in the first two songs that transport you away to a more peaceful place, to the final song which makes you feel like you are listening to live music in a secluded music venue it is all produced perfectly. Every track has such a unique voice, all of which tie in together, which is in part due to the songwriting but the production takes an extra step to link each song together and give them all close enough sounds that they sound heavenly as a collection. Every song and second of this EP is tailored to fit the processing of grief and loss and the exploration of loss, framing it in an almost narrative way where you feel hooked every moment listening to the smooth and whimsical instrumentals and productions alongside the honey like vocals. This project is an example of something created from the heart and I can only imagine how honest Velvet Bloom’s music will become as she continues to grow.

Isabelle Evans