The first thing music aficionados are bound to recognize in the opening bars of Phoebe Silva’s new single “Everything Comes With a Price” is its moderate jazz sensibilities, the best of which make themselves known to us before Silva even begins to croon. The vocal harmony in this track is absolutely golden, its expressiveness beyond transcendent of the lyrics it’s tasked with carrying through the air and into our hearts, and yet the instrumentation preceding its arrival is more than strong enough to push anyone within earshot to the very edge of their seats. This is only the fourth single this aspiring singer and pop songwriter has released since her debut “The Best Thing!” in 2019, but in my opinion, she sounds more focused and honest in her delivery than some of the biggest chart-toppers of the summer have. 


Silva’s vocal is perhaps the strongest melodic component for us to tune-into right off the bat, but I would stop well short of saying that it’s the main source of catharsis in this track. If anything, it’s working to frame elements like the violin, mild percussion and rigid bassline as much as they’re attempting to do the same for her words. There’s a codependency to the relationship between her voice and the adjacent instrumental fabric it’s presented with in this song, and I wouldn’t do a thing to change it – to be quite frank, it yields such chill-inducing results that I’d likely be inclined to request it’s employment in future releases as well. 

There’s a dreaminess to the harmony behind this hook that is exceptionally stirring and even gives the other aspects of this track a run for their money in a couple of key departments, but all in all, I would say this is a jazz crossover before it’s anything in the specifically postmodern pop realm. I definitely think it’s obvious Silva takes influence from some of the same players Sarah Clanton, Claire Means, Timber or even Wilhelm do, but how she purposes these influences into her sound is completely unique to her style of play. She’s not looking to blend in with the crowd; after all, if this were the case, I don’t think she would be going out of her way to stylize this latest single as aesthetically eclectic as she inarguably did. 


At under three and a half minutes in total running time, “Everything Comes With a Price” is far more focused on melodic substance than poetically surreal self-exploration, but it’s nonetheless a look Phoebe Silva embraces with understated gusto. This artist has been attracting a lot of buzz in the last year, and with the release of this all-new single, I think she justifies much of the interest underground critics like myself have been sharing in her continued growth. She’s already proven herself masterful in a couple of categories her peers would just as soon spend entire careers simply trying to navigate, and if given more time to evolve even further, I don’t know that there’s anything she can’t accomplish from the confines of a recording studio. 

Garth Thomas