Album Review: To The Hills EP – Laurel

1From the UK, 19 year old singer/songwriter/producer Laurel has already been making waves through Soundcloud, garnering close to a half-million soundplays. Her debut EP To The Hills, while short and sweet with only five tracks is hard-hitting yet playful.

The first track, ‘To The Hills’, opens with a graceful stringed arrangement, which makes way for the multi-layered vocals of Laurel. A modestly simple beat lays the foundation for haunting lyrics that lead through an arduous journey. The hook “Get higher higher/Get higher higher” enhances the pronounced tension and raises the feeling of running from an unknown danger.

Released today and directed by Hunger’s Creative Director Vicky Lawton, the music video that accompanies Laurel’s second track is almost supernatural in its minimalism. Beginning with close-up shots of Laurel, the coloured lighting sets the mood and tone as she descends from a pure innocence to a darker path. Her melancholic presence lends to an unusually potent love story told in ‘Nicotine Dreams’.

Although I am not one for remixes, To The Hills has two that are fantastically crafted. Both modifications on ‘To The Hills’, one is an electro-house production by The Jane Doze and the other is a bass-heavy rework by Woodysproduce. Equally lending another wraithlike edge to an already firm favourite, you’d be hard-pressed to skip these tracks.

To The Hills has a bold, distinctive simplicity running straight through the EP and is a much-needed refreshing break from the sycophancy of today’s popular music.