One of the main constants in Relevf’s new four-song EP Wounded Wings is the stellar songwriting from this brilliant up-and-comer. Relevf’S keen, emotional storytelling is topped off by rousing vocality. Relevf’s voice is sprite like a fairy and yields the same twang as a Dolly Parton and has tints of Evanescence’s Amy Lee. The end result is an exciting, amalgamation of electro pop and hues of country pop. Wounded Wings soars.
Songwriting has been her relief, Relevf states in her online bio. Located in East Tennessee, the richness of the country/Americana timbre ever-present is overshadowed only by the drum machines and electric guitars. It’s not that labeling these songs is difficult, it’s that they shine so independently on their own that labels don’t suffice. From the opening “New Skin” to the fourth song, “Forever” the Relevf’s sonic journey is very personal, revealing.
In “New Skin” one of the strongest versus includes the lines no one can hurt me if they don’t see me, no one can judge me if they don’t know me…so comfortable hiding in this lonely hole. Relevf’s words trigger an immediate reaction and this open-diary approach is incredibly heart piercing. All the demons that show their faces during social anxiety and depression seem to be conjured up in her words. The backing music is rock-like, but not heavy metal or hard rock. The song really conveys the chaos and confusion in the anxious brain and Relevf’s prime vocals further capture the yearning to fit in, the desire to show a different personality. I think the young adult listening audience, especially, will gravitate towards this song. I can definitely hear it being played on a movie soundtrack or a scene that calls to mind finding one’s place in the world. It’s incredible and raises the bar immediately.
The second track, “Over and Over” showcases additional vulnerable songwriting. Holding onto all these memories, Relevf sings. Sounding very different, but still very exciting and dramatic, the music bed is a mixture of beats and electronic rhythms. The tempo and the delivery picks up in the third track, “Moth to Flame”. Like a moth to flame, I can’t be contained, sings Relevf in this song of betrayal and heartache. This is the most pop sounding of the four-pack, and probably my second favorite of the whole lot. This song has a lot of flow, a lot of adrenaline. She really harnesses the driving rhythms and heavy drum beats. I lost myself in the words and the eclectic movement.
The final track, “Forever” slows down the mood just slightly. Relevf still swaggers into the room with a stylized, sharp electronic sound. In this song, the electric guitar revs up and flexes its muscles more so than the others. The line all my insecurities are you away, struck me the most. Relevf continues to unveil and emotionally bleed through her lyrics. This particular song has a lot of atmospheric or ambient tones, meshed with a melodic, murky guitar. It’s quite brilliant and the dividing forces gel together nicely.