There’s a reason why love is a common theme in music. At some point everyone experiences the ecstasy, elation, struggle, and heartbreak that can come with being in a relationship. Love is a common denominator in the human experience and songs about love often have the power to make us perk up and say “Hey, I know how that feels!”
Leah Capelle’s new self-titled EP certainly uses love as the main theme and her songs are almost exclusively about her personal struggles with it. While her voice is lovely and excludes confidence, Capelle’s music too often drifts into generic soft ballad territory. She sounds a lot like her influences – Sara Bareilles, Regina Spektor, and Joni Mitchell – but that’s not to say the EP isn’t worth listening to.
First single “Would You Know” presents a cheerful beat over an acoustic lead guitar. Capelle’s voice is clean and professional. Combine that with a tight arrangement and this song is ready to be licensed to your favorite TV drama. In the chorus, she charmingly sings: “I’m not asking for charity/I just wish you’d notice me.” She’s going for the good-girl persona; not entirely original but effective nonetheless.
“In a Boat” shows the best variation and imagery on the EP. It’s a piano centered song with strong key changes and lyrics about escapism: “Take me to the sea where no one can find me/That’s where I wanna be”. Chimes help to fill in the background and make the song feel complete. The vocals are more drawn out and Capelle’s ability to carry a tune is undeniable on this one.
The rest of the EP plays out in a similar fashion, continuously playing the back-and-forth, in-and-out of love game. “Natural Disaster” works in some sweet electric guitar tones and slightly harder drums in the chorus. “My Love Has Dried Up” use similar acoustic strumming as “Would You Know”, but integrates lyrics about Capelle taking her heart back and being in control of the relationship. “My Confession” is another narrative about love, this time considering her own moods and flaws and trying to turn them around. You get the picture.
Overall Capelle’s EP is a good first step for a new songwriter. Her voice is powerful and captivating, and she certainly has the foundation for success laid down. Unfortunately the songs themselves are a bit generic and you’ll feel like you’ve heard them a thousand times before. You could literally put on a Colbie Callait CD and not know the difference. Leah Capelle is a talented artist so it’ll be interesting to see if she takes it to the next level on her next outing.
YOU TUBE: https://www.youtube.com/user/mooseljs
Review by Trevor Morelli