Rebecca Raw’s debut EP Deep Within leaves a strong impression on todays musical landscape. Writing all the songs herself, and even playing the cello on the album, one can easily see that Raw is more than just an average musician. Though the EP isn’t perfect it is a great start to her career.
The five track record begins with “Connection” in which her ethereal voice sings “you think you know me but you only see who you think I am,” a statement that will resonate with many listeners. It’s a magical song that at a midtempo pace has plenty of dynamics to it included layering of vocals and background instrumentation that at first listen may seem like a mismatch to the content, but the more one repeats the song the more one can see what a brilliant decision it is. The most vital part of the song is how Raw sings about craving someone’s affections not because she needs it but just because she wants it. She places herself as a woman who is real and has moments of breaking down but can come out better than ever. It’s an important message to put out and one that doesn’t go unnoticed.
“Dust and Ashes” is one of the most unique songs this reviewer has heard in 2017. It’s formatted as an a capella tune and the extra long opening of Raw setting up the beat and pace of the song with her voice is a thing of wonder. When the main melody starts and Raw begins to sing on top of her own backing vocals it becomes layered and even more special. Raw delivers a passionate vocal performance showing the strength she has over her own instrument, soulful and full of emotion. With visual lyrics like “can your words awaken the sun of calm the crashing waves,” Raw proves herself as a skilled songwriter and as she repeats “give me dust/give me ashes,” one can’t help but fall under her spell. The song also brilliantly showcases that Raw is not only committed as a musician but that she is not afraid to take risks and that is a telling sign of what may come next from her next release.
Raw’s finest moments come within “Whisper Thin” a piano driven ballad with lush vocals and beautiful poetic lyrics such as “snowstorm in summer/winter in June/darkens another day/spring better find me soon.” Raw becomes a masterful storyteller here putting even more passion than usual into her music. It connects on a metaphoric level but also gets Raw’s message of feeling weary through on a basic level that will translate well to listeners. When the strings click in the tune fully becomes whole as it adds a greater dimension to the track. The control that Raw has over her voice is something to marvel at as she showcases her range. Poignant and haunting, “Whisper Thin” allows Raw to put all her best talents forward and continue to show everyone that she is ready to conquer the music world.
The two missteps are “Freefall” which doesn’t hold up compared to the other tracks on the album, and “Calling” which drags on too long at just under six minutes. Still on a whole Deep Within is an impressive debut album and shows the promise of this emerging artist.