In an abundant music industry, new artists face the difficulty of breaking through. Every day, singers and songwriters try their best to be the next viral hit a long side artists like Lorde and Tove Lo.
However, there are also artists who exist, not seeking the fame and fortune that comes with a Top 40 smash hit, but who seek to create music in hopes of filling a void of artistry. For Mara Simpson, this could be her place.
Off the heels of her debut EP “Lighthouse,” Simpson’s mostly lighthearted beats may never reach the stardom of other musicians. But for those willing to seek new and emerging music, in Simpson. they will find something enjoyable and creative. Each of the EP’s five tracks is unique. With indie inflections, the infectious acoustically based Simpson evokes moments reminiscent of Diane Birch and Stevie Nicks.
On “Around Here,” Simpson toys with a track that is upbeat and drifting. With its neo-country, folksy instrumentals, the melody of “Around Here” is a pleasant experience. As vocals begin swooning, Simpson is quick to catch the interlacing tempo. The track is most similar to the summery beats of Of Monsters And Men, but where that band offers a culmination of sounds produced by many members, Simpson is allowed to wholly shine.
With “Lighthouse,” Simpson continues her journey toward musical discovery. With long vocal runs most characteristically aligned with ballads, “Lighthouse” is uniquely upbeat. Her ability to tie in sweet, songbird-like moments makes Simpson her own artist with her own unique style.
“Restless Passenger,” which has certain nostalgia throughout, Simpson draws on a retro, almost ‘80s beat while tying in much more fiery guitar strums. Without backing down, the beat of “Restless Passenger,” builds like a storm. It’s the perfect atmosphere to allow Simpson to show a side of her that is not based in cheerful positivity.
For “Fine Lines,” Simpson pulls out all of the stops. By far the greatest track off the EP, “Fine Lines,” is darker than the rest of “Lighthouse.” Its brooding, bluesy pacing is a welcoming undertaking by an artist who may have otherwise failed at escaping a single dimension.
Lastly, “What I Would Give,” seems to act as a summary of the EP. Its moments of acousticallybased guitar strumming and eccentric and echoing vocals create a sense of satisfaction for those who took the time to listen to the whole EP. It is a hopeful end to an optimistic beginning for Simpson and her work thus far.