British Columbia native Claire Coupland has just released For You, an EP made up of three unique singer/songwriter tracks that are just as stunning as the album cover.
“Alone” kicks off the record with an acoustic guitar that serves as the main instrumentation. The melody is a bit off beat but it still manages to glide because of Coupland’s graceful tone. It has a bit of a “Blackbird” by The Beatles feel in the plucking, though this song is much less hopeful about the future. Here, Coupland sings about what it is like to be alone in life, singing “all you can do is fight your way through/lovers and friends they may leave you.” It’s a downer, but also very truthful and Coupland brings that raw pain into every note she sings. “Alone,” isn’t about cheering listeners up, but in a way it connects all listeners into not being alone in realizing that everybody feels isolated.
The title track “For You,” is another song that is quite heavy in terms of subject matter as it tells of a fractured relationship. “He’s a lover, a kind of provision/until you fall, hide under the covers/he’s not the kind of lover you had in mind.” It is that kind of powerful and provocative imagery that really sets this tune apart from the others on the EP. The folk vibe is strong here, and the haunting mood that Coupland sets up clearly matches the struggle in the story of the song. It does drag a bit, but Coupland finds a way to even make that sit right, in this particular case as her fate hangs in the balance of one very big decision. Riveting and strong, there is little wonder why this track is the leading single.
Rounding out the album is “Dream” which begins with a tinkling piano introduction that lends itself quite well to the mystical, otherworldly quality that the song possesses. There’s also an ethereal nature in the way Coupland’s voice is layered throughout the piece along with the lyrics which speak of a man who has cast spell on “some other girl” and she wonders “was it love or just a dream?” It is the most distinct tune on the entire EP as it weaves its own spell over listeners in a manner that is never more successful than here. The instrumentation matches Coupland’s almost out of body vocals, swelling and soaring when it needs to and becoming more quiet when the song calls for it. If you only listen to one song on the EP, make it “Dream.”
On a whole Coupland succeeds in making a record that has a sound which transcends any time period, with her soothing voice and her relatable lyrical content that feels like it could have been produced in the 70s, 90s, and the present day making it one of the most classic EP releases in recent memory.