EP – Paint The Town Red
Emily Lockett is a country-pop singer/songwriter from Stoke-on-Trent. Having released an EP before, 2018s My Imagination, alongside two of the songs from this EP as singles already, she has quickly established herself as one of the best young artists around, especially in the country genre. In 2021 she is set for the digital release of her new EP, Paint the Town Red. Being available in physical form already, I have managed to get hold of a copy to review ahead of the digital release.
I have already done a review of her latest single, Do You Wanna Go Out?, for this site before and have become a big fan of Emily’s work since then. I shall leave a link to that review down below as it is the first song on the EP and it feels silly to talk about it again when I did a more in-depth analysis than I could have here. I’m excited to let you know what I think of the rest of it but I already have to say it is very, very good.
As I said, the opening song is already reviewed here. I loved it though, and it’s honestly one of my favourite songs this year so far, it’s had heavy rotation in my playlists!
An Unwilling Heart is up next. Opening on some more fantastic acoustic guitar chords and some subtle piano before Emily’s vocals come in over the top. It stays pretty slow and low before bursting into another amazing chorus. The vocals are massively catchy and easy to relate to for anyone who’s had relationship issues in the past, and the instrumentation behind it makes it all sound that much bigger, an arena/stadium filling ballad for sure!
For a second after the second chorus I thought we were going to get a fiddle solo and I got SUPER pumped. We didn’t get that, but still the short bridge was enjoyable, the instruments taking center stage and giving everything a massive country feel. We get a gradual build-up before it drops down for the first half of the final chorus, build-up again into a wall of incredible sound. Also, the guitar solo behind Emily’s vocals in the final parts of the song add another amazing layer to it all, it fitting the feel of the music perfectly too. Another incredible country song!
If I Live to 100 opens even slower, with a simple yet beautiful piano riff for Emily to sing over the top of for the verse. Like the previous songs it builds up perfectly throughout, adding in some more subtle piano and fiddle and acoustic guitar behind it, the layers all fitting together so well to only add to the beauty. The lyrics are great again, highlighting a lot of what people have probably thought whenever considering the subject, too.
There isn’t much more I can say about this song, it is slower and more ballady than the previous two and, maybe because of that, there isn’t a great deal to it. It is slow and beautiful and emotional in all of the best ways; a really top-notch song, and another that will be making it into the MFUK playlist when it is released!
The other single is next, last year’s Front Porch. It definitely has a single feel to it immediately, opening on some more great acoustic guitar chords before dropping back a little for the verse. The fiddle accents Emily’s vocals perfectly and adds an almost bounce to the song, especially with the very quiet beat behind it all too. It again builds to maybe my favourite chorus on the EP, it sounding MASSIVE and hugely catchy. Emily’s pitch perfect vocals are on full display thoughout and some of the little melodical runs she performs are awesome too, and very country.
We again get a short bridge that leads into a stripped back first half of a double chorus, building up into the huge, full sound for the rest of it. It’s all pretty standard for country-pop but damn if it isn’t done incredibly well and it really does sound awesome. This one is already in last year’s playlist as I haven’t gotten enough of it since I first heard it!
Finally, we reach That Girl. It is the rockiest of all of them on the album, starting off on a great electric guitar riff over the top of the piano, acoustic and some pretty hard drumming. It drops back a little again for the verses but the chorus is another stadium-filling country-rock song; the instruments packing one hell of a punch behind the powerful, catchy vocal melody.
There is another awesome, simple guitar solo after the second chorus, adding some nice variety in there and some really great melody to the song. There isn’t a great deal more I can say about it without just continuing to gush over it, but honestly if you are a fan of country or pop at all I urge you to check out this EP wherever you can, it is easily some of the best stuff I have listened to since I started doing this stuff last year.
Overall: I loved this. In an age where Taylor Swift has all but abandoned her country roots in favour of a more general pop sound, it is so nice and refreshing to hear those carrying on with it without her and taking inspiration form her first couple of incredible albums. Every song on this was great, packing so much emotion and catchiness and great lyricism into just a few songs. I expect Emily to be a megastar in just a few short years, she really is that damn good!
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