Review:: Shamina — When You Go EP

At exactly 7 am on April 15th, the girl, simply known as “Shamina” released her latest EP on iTunes. What I should have done was: get up, take a quick shower, grab a bagel to go, and try to beat traffic to the city. What I actually did? I stayed in bed, grabbed my brand new iPhone 6s, launched iTunes, and blessed it with its first purchase. Traffic didn’t matter anymore, after I heard her voice, there was no better way I could spend my morning. Thus, I began my endless playing of Shamina’s new EP “When You Go”.

Just as we had to wait for her previous EP, “While We’re Waiting” — aptly titled — we found ourselves in great anticipation as we waited for “When You Go.” We were excited to hear that she would be releasing work three more times this year, but then I realized that the torture is deliberate when she told me that they will continue to be four song EPs. Oh, when will the madness end! Yet, it’s all worth it in the end, I promise, because when you hear her voice, which really sounds like that of angels, the only rational response is to want more.

The biggest difference in this EP is that her voice is much more profound. Many of the pop songs we’ve been hearing in the past decade are over-produced and over-arranged with synths, basses, loops and some overly familiar and sometimes annoying vocal effects — and that’s just on the production side. Her lyrics have depth and soul while maintaining an air of fun and adventure with tracks like “This is the life”. Her storytelling was certainly kicked up a notch this round with When You Go. The struggle with this particular song, feels human, there’s pain that’s honest and meaningful, and resolve that is inspiring and realistically attainable. She is not just a pretty voice. Because of Shamina’s vocal prowess, she kept the arrangement simple. Piano and acoustic guitar was more than enough to compliment her sweet sweet sound. This meant that we were able to really appreciate her voice, and it also meant that she was able to get creative with her harmonies, making the arrangement dynamic and so hypnotically serenading that I missed my highway exit, making me even more late to work.

I think that if Shamina was born with a couple octaves less in her vocal range, like myself, she would have made an amazing public speaker, or counselor. Ironically, having finally met her in person last month, I can say that she has the same compassion in real life as she exudes in her music.

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