Emerson Leif is an incredibly talented musician. For years now his delicate voice has not only graced the songs of other incredible artists, but he’s also produced a series of his own beautiful tracks that are incredibly intoxicating to listen to. Sticking with this theme, Emerson Leif’s new EP ‘Good Shot’ is full of tracks that you’re going to want to listen to over and over again.
‘Good Shot’ is an emotionally driven EP that takes you on a journey that you may recognise. Every song is injected with vulnerable lyrics and emotional production that feels so familiar that it almost becomes relatable. You understand where Emerson is coming from, you’re fully on board with the journey because you may have been on a similar journey yourself, or may even be going through it now. Emerson has found a way to express the feelings a lot of us have from time to time and put them into a series of blissfully enchanting songs.
Deep guitar strokes with a slight warp to them create an almost dizzying vibe to the EP’s opening track ‘Fine’ as it begins. Soon though, it breaks out into a great beat and the energy is significantly lifted. ‘Fine’ is a track that feels slow enough to fully fall into, but also fast enough that it injects a bit of energy into you so you don’t fully delve into a dreamy state. It’s got a really upbeat vibe too, but not so upbeat that it’s a super happy song. It’s like the happy vibe you have in your head when you’re on your own. No else knows what you’re feeling, but that’s okay. You’re all good enjoying the vibe on your own. So it’s like you’re feeling bliss, but you’re actively aware that it’s not clear to the world around you – it’s an internal bliss, which is lovely to think about.
Then, on ‘Blood’, really nice synths and humming atmospherics dance above a heavy bass line. Emerson’s vocals really just float through the production like a friendly, pastel-coloured snake, weaving its way through long grass. The atmosphere on the track feels light, despite the lyrics being slightly more on the sombre side. As Emerson sings about disconnection, the percussion cuts through the lighter synths and atmospherics. There’s a really good balance between the lighter notes and dark tones, which is something that becomes a bit of a theme throughout the rest of the ‘Good Shot’ EP.
When ‘Midnight’ begins, the first thing you notice is that the vocals are deeper and slightly distorted, giving the generally relaxed vibe of the song a bit of an eerie element. The percussion feels slightly harder on this track and kind of gritty. Cymbals add a bit of edge to the otherwise airy production, and it reminds you of broken tarmac on an otherwise smooth road. It acts almost as a reminder that although things may seem smooth and easy, that a lot of the time, it was a long hard process to get to that place. Those harder times made way for the smoothness to unfold.
Acoustic guitars float beneath the vocals on ‘Guard Down’ and it feels very sweet. There’s an innocence to this song, but the sliding samples make it sound like a journey, like you’re moving from innocence, to maybe ignorance, and finally to a place of clarity. The beat is steady, the melody is smooth, and really feels like you’re being guided through something. You’re being shown the path Emerson went on and the intricate drums, light acoustics, subtle bass and heavier atmospherics are your vehicle. ‘Guard Down’ almost feels like Emerson letting his guard down and showing us a snippet of something he’s experienced himself. Something that he wants to share.
When we get to ‘More Or Less’, twinkling synths dance above a deeper guitar track, before lighter guitar licks raise the vibe up a bit. This feels like the kind of song you’d daydream too, whilst watching the world go by through a car window. It’s a really nice track and kind of dreamy, but not so dreamy that the production is blending together. There’s still sharpness in the way the drums hit alongside the synths and guitars. There’s some dreaminess, but also a reality hit when you need it. Again, Emerson showcases his talent for balance by making ‘More Or Less’ both ethereal, and punchy at the same time.
Finally, when you reach the end of the EP, you’re welcomed by its title track, ‘Good Shot’. This track has a bit of an analogue crunch floating over the atmospherics and vocals. The beat is spaced out, giving the synths space to swirl around the hollow tones, before the vocals build into a series of full harmonies that feel incredibly comforting. It’s a minimalist track that builds into something busier, without feeling too scattered. Each element is slowly introduced until there’s a sense of support and honestly, the harmonies are really what bring it home.
If you’re ever in a bit of a dreamy state, or going through something and just need a slice of comfort, you should play ‘Good Shot’ all the way through. Each track feels emotional, vulnerable and relatable, creating a sweet atmosphere not many other musicians are able to replicate. Emerson Leif has an incredible talent for pulling at the heartstrings, whilst also putting a massive smile on your face and his ‘Good Shot’ EP is a perfect example of how well he does it.