We are all so lucky to be living in this Age of The Internet. It’s far easier to discover talented people than ever before.
Erin Snape is a multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriting YouTuber. She’s put an album of thirteen songs together and published it on her channel. This debut album, First Impressions, is full of harmony and interesting chord progressions. I get the feeling it is her own take on what one should make music with – and how it should sound. I’ve no doubt that it’s possible to make comparisons, but I don’t think it’s productive. For someone just starting out, it seems she has the self-awareness to allow her own personality to establish the direction she takes, rather than be dictated to by attempts at emulating other artists or styles.
There are some technically wonderful people out there, some shredding to their favourite pieces of Math Rock, others regularly publishing content to entertain and educate. But now and then something different pops up. Something out of the ordinary. Special. The technical ability on display out there in The Interwebs, much of it jaw-dropping, can make you feel like you’ve wasted your life. But, sadly, there’s often a deficit in imaginative creativity. In some ways, it can leave you cold and wondering how you still feel empty after squandering too many minutes on passively sharing in an act of… not creating something.
Erin Snape is not one of those people. She has put together songs that manifest as a musical embodiment of innocence and optimism. Quite simply, a joy to listen to, and whether you buy her album or go and listen to her songs on Bandcamp (Erin’s preferred platform) or YouTube, you’ll feel replenished and happy and you will not have wasted your time.
Her songs, produced by Gerhard Westphalen and beautifully performed by Erin and a few guests, are the product of maturity and sophistication seemingly beyond her years. The YouTube versions are entertaining in their own right, but the album version steps up a gear in terms of production values. And this is her first album. Listen to it, read that sentence again and if you don’t agree then we shall have to fight.
I don’t know what made Erin decide to work with Gerhard Westphalen, but together they made some clever choices of instrumentation and arrangement. It would have been easy to look for a band to back Erin and produce studio versions of these songs with whatever production tropes fit the prevailing fashion, but that would have destroyed the almost folky nature of these songs. Their choice was the sophisticated option, and the songs breathe elegantly. They are elegant, beautiful, devoid of artifice.
In her song Years, the penultimate track on the album, she sings:
If she’s achieved this level of sophistication in her songwriting now, I can’t wait to see what she can achieve when she finds herself! If, in 10 years, we’re not all aware of Erin Snape and referring to her as “critically acclaimed, award winning English musician, singer-songwriter, Erin Snape”, I shall wonder what is wrong with the World.
Erin Snape is my big find of the Twenties.
01. Emperor (2:38)
02. Happy (2:48)
03. A Song For My Dog (1:19)
04. Hit The Road (3:00)
05. New York (2:18)
06. Colours (4:02)
07. Home (2:15)
08. Brain (3:31)
09. Hope (1:27)
10. I Met A Friend In My Dreams (3:33)
11. Interlude (0:41)
12. Years (2:43)
13. The Credits (3:19)
Total Time – 33:34
Erin Snape – Vocals, All Instruments
Record Label: Independent
Country of Origin: U.K.
Date of Release: 1st November 2020