You may have heard the name Emma White circling around Rolling Stone and NPR lately.
She's a different kind of country music star. She not a farmer's daughter and she's not a damsel in distress, but there's still an earthiness to her storytelling (despite the classic city-slicker feel to many of her lyrics). She just dropped her latest EP, and it very much deserves your attention.
It opens with "10 Year Town," which is an ode to the slog of show-business. Slow but pleasant guitar creeps in, followed by gentle home-spun lyrics that paint a picture of Americana heartache. White's voice is as crisp as fresh linen as she infuses the song with longing. She follows this up with "That's Why I Drink." Here she plays with tropes of domesticity over a muted guitar riff; she spins a scene reminiscent of Sara Bareilles.
"Seriously Casual" is where things get really interesting. White's voice is different here: more playful yet empowered. The song's lyrics are sweet and charming. You don't often hear a song that celebrates the positivity of a casual relationship, but this track does so brilliantly. We see more of what makes White stand out in "Married Man." With softer, slowed-down guitar, White really shines as a vocal storyteller. "The Actress" brings more slowly plucked guitar as White puts her unique spin on a well-told story.
Finally, the trebly lick of "If You're in It" is an immediate attention-grabber, making it the catchiest of all the EP's tracks. White opens up about wanting to commit to a new lover, rounding out a terrific EP about navigating rocky relationships. Emma White has the storytelling chops of an artist ten years her senior, and her voice is one that, historically, sea-witches have attempted to steal.