Bangalore-Mangalore indie favourite in the making, Frizzell D’Souza has made her presence felt over the past couple of months, with a slew of singles – ‘III At Ease’, ‘Just As Easily’, and ‘The Hills Know of You’. And now, we dive into her debut EP, a collection of 5 tracks titled The Hills Know of You.
Comprising the previously mentioned singles along with the three tracks, ‘Busy Loving You’, ‘Maybe Tomorrow’ and ‘Interlude’, the EP establishes D’Souza as a voice to watch out for, making some things very clear.
Frizzell D’Souza can sing. She has got an angelic voice that will envelop anyone in the throes of a cosy sonic blanket. And, while it is sweet and mild, it lacks nothing in areas of depth and richness. Her voice is many things at once and that makes for a wonderful listening experience.
She can write. Through this EP, the artist hones her persona as a singer-songwriter. With pretty pictures and witty metaphors/ analogies, it’s clear that she’s got the power of the pen; a thinking, feeling writer. And, so long as practice and effort align, her discography is sure to boast some worthy writing in the coming years, or months even.
Oh, and she’s got an uncanny ability of creating heart-aching, gut-smacking harmonies that will stir up all kinds of storms in you.
But all said and done, the singer-songwriter can stand to take it up a notch and think outside the box because musically, The Hills Know of You, is one pretty, pleasant, but long song. What D’Souza’s artistic voice brings to the table in terms of raw talent and skill, the EP lacks in creativity and the kind of risk-taking sensibility that can make or break a debut effort.
Through every track, D’Souza explores love from different angles – falling in and out of it. Butterflies and heartbreak. The EP is brimming with the observations and woes of a hopeless romantic, making the songwriting vulnerable and bare.
To a delicate set of strings, The Hills Know of You opens with ‘Busy Loving You.’ D’Souza sings of an all-encompassing love, one that never stops flowing, no matter the circumstance. On ‘The Hills Know of You,’ with a solemn set of acoustics, keys and harmonies, the musician sings of heartbreak and deception. On ‘Maybe Tomorrow’ – arguably the best written and most disruptive track on the EP, for it introduces more deliberate rhythm and veers away from the traditional musings about love – D’Souza talks about hope, difficult days, and the yearning for a better tomorrow. ‘Interlude’ brings us closer to the end of the EP with snappy rhythm, vocal harmonies and skilful acoustic guitar work. And, finally, ‘Just As Easily’, closes out the 14-minute journey into D’Souza’s debut effort.
Conclusion? Every song on this EP is good. The tracks are structurally sound; intricate even. Produced and mastered to a worthy standard. But at the end of the day, they’re simply just…nice; plain, leaving the EP sounding like one long song. And, leaving the listener feeling like they’ve barely scratched the surface of D’Souza’s potential musicality.
The Hills Know of You caters to the acoustic, singer-songwriter sensibility that we’re all familiar with. But it’s hard not to ask for more. Will she be relegated to the indie niche that never colours outside the lines, or will she break her own mould and come into the creativity that it’s obvious she’s capable of?
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