Singer songwriter Emma Ballantine‘s recent EP release, Tourist, is the follow up record to her debut, Flying Machine – and is full of optimistic, folksy, melodic outpourings. Recorded at Monnow Valley Studio in Wales, and released on her own label (Shut Up Jo), The EP further showcases her talents as a writer and performer.
Ballantine’s vocals have been compared to the great Kate Bush and the glorious Florence Welch, and this is due to her shimmering voice and honest lyricism. Opening track ‘The Love I Seek’ is the strongest example of these skills on her EP, and the accompanying music video plays on the track’s rolling rhythm superbly.
‘Perfect Crime’ (like all tracks on the EP) is multi-instrumental. The melancholy strings at the opening give the song a vintage edge, and Ballantine’s vocals soar easily over the boisterous drums. The eponymous ‘Tourist’ begins as a gentle, acoustic track, but as it gains momentum Ballantine is able to demonstrate her shape-shifting vocal gift.
Her cover of Suzanne Vega’s ‘The Queen And The Soldier’ is another perfect example of said gift. The track’s narrative is enchanting enough, but Ballantine’s version brims with further charm and elegance. This simplistic track choice demonstrates her versatility as a performer. Cautious and contemplative, ‘Fall’ is a lament to lost romance and heartache, and is the closing track on the EP. Ballantine prevents the track from pulling too severely on the heart-strings however, by keeping her vocal style clear, light and hopeful.
Emma Ballantine shares her sentiments about love, living, and letting go with skill and confidence on her Tourist EP – a record that will resonate with anyone who has a wild heart, and an acoustic-loving ear.
Tourist is out now via Shut Up Jo.