Maryland (US) based artist, Ema Sid, has just released her debut single, The Letter, we’ve been having a listen today here at the Send Me Your Ears studio.
Lyrically, The Letter is an intimate declaration of love in letter form. It has a lo-fi singer-songwriter feel that, as it develops and more instrumentation is added, it has a slightly country feel to it (although perhaps that’s just the tone on the electric guitar that’s persuading us).
A particularly clever production trick that Ema Sid has used is to start the song with a very lo-fi sound on both the guitar and vocals. Almost feeling as though it is being played through a telephone or recorded in the 1930s. Top and bottom frequencies are filtered out, leaving just the middle. This gives the song so much impact at around 44 seconds in when the frequencies balance out and the full spectrum is represented.
Drums are added to the mix at around 1m15s which keep the song rising and maintaining the listeners interest. This is really well thought out scoring and composition. The landscape of the composition is mostly rising, but there are occasional moments that drop back (for example at around 2m40s) but for the most part, The Letter just keeps building until the stinger ending, keeping this song at a comfortable 3m16s – a perfect length for consideration for commercial airplay.
Ema Sid’s vocals are gentle and fragile with some fantastic head voice work. The layered vocals and harmonies that appear later in the song are well mixed in and sit comfortably with everything else. There’s something about Ema’s voice that reminded us of Australian vocalist, Katie Noonan – especially her work with the band, George.
We feel that this gentle singer-songwriter style track would be a great candidate for use in a TV show and would urge Ema to do some investigating. This would be a great way for her to reach new fans, and the style of music is extremely popular in TV at the moment.
From a production perspective, we’d suggest trying a little boost around 5kHz to give more presence to the vocals, especially as the song develops. A boost in the low end around 80Hz might add some extra warmth to the drums and we’d suggest ducking the incidental guitar riffs, particularly towards the end of the song as more instrumentation is added they take centre stage a little more than the vocals do.
For a debut single, The Letter by Ema Sid is an incredibly promising start. A well crafted, well produced and well performed song that hints at a very rosy future for this artist.