Zoë Kravitz’s Rob (High Fidelity) describes picking songs for her “road trip” as an art. An art that entails using another person's poetry to express your feelings. This concept isn’t completely lost on the artistic trade that occurs between artists and listeners. The artist pours their heart and soul into highly personal and vulnerable verses for us (the listeners) to seamlessly absorb according to our poetic and sentimental needs. Say what you will, but this sense of emotional understanding is one of the purest things about music, something Annika Bennett’s new EP, ROOM (DEMOS), provides in bulk.
Starting off the EP singing from a very delicate and fragile place, and ending on a strong and nostalgic note, Annika invites us to follow her through this wildly intimate experience. ”Over” sets the tone for the remainder of the project. Sharing details on a relationship that — to the untrained eye — is all smoke and mirrors, while also shedding light on instances of codependency and emotional disregard, the track is filled with insightful lines ready to be unpacked. “Over.”Speaking of deceiving relationships, the opener “Sad Song,” soundtracks the bruised bond depicted throughout the project. A little more upbeat, featuring some sweet and fuzzy guitar riffs, “Sad Song” is the perfect, and theme song, to this emotional ride.
The second track “Say it To Your Face,” which also happens to be my favorite on the EP, sheds light on Annika’s strong songwriting and swoon-worthy bridges. While the track feels quite simple, its poetic properties make it impossible not to meet her half-way. Recounting the tenderness she once experienced in a past relationship, she makes peace with the distance that separates her from this individual. Most of the verses are dedicated to these nostalgic bits about their quirks and specific personality traits she deeply appreciates in hindsight.
While I love the verses, the bridge is where the magic happens. Elongating the track, creating depth and motion, the last few seconds of “Say it To Your Face” perfectly encapsulate that overwhelming admiration and love felt once everything is said and done; making you wonder once again, “Is it better to speak or to die?” This breath-taking bridge pattern takes place on most of the tracks on the EP and feels like real breakthrough moments, both musically and lyrically.
With more upbeat and catchy tracks like “Key In My Pocket" and cathartic ones like “ROOM,” Bennett manages to tug at our heartstrings throughout the entirety of this project, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.