Written by Maria Arroyo
Easy Love, the solo project of multi-instrumentalist Justine Brown, shares her sophomore album, Wander Feeler. The album is described as a “summary of sentiments arising from long drives, reflections of relationships beginning and ending, of the feeling of freedom dissolving upon arriving home from traveling, and of the constant struggle with self-worth,” where the artist herself is what ties it all together.
Bearing her mistakes and memories for everyone to hear, she talks about a part of her life that influenced the album. “I betrayed the person I loved the most,” Brown says. “Being honest with him about it was heartbreaking, but also freeing.” Brown was “released from the shackles of regret,” and she found her wings in the process.
The “Intro” is catchy, yet simple with a very fulfilling guitar lick. There’s some expectation of fun and nostalgia, mixed with feelings of longing that is apparent throughout the album. The next track, “Alright,” has a more of a carefree vibe to it, and altogether, a simple song and an easy listen. Brown says this song, in particular, is her way of “freeing myself of self-doubts, suggesting that I must keep going despite the anxiety I experience in life.”
Her next song, “Cool Type,” is a song about the feelings she carries towards an ex-lover. Brown says that there’s a “wall of soft distorted guitars and harmonies that will send shivers down your spine.” While the song had some interesting choices for the lyrics, they really did work nicely together and made the song stand out.
“Blue Eyes” is probably the most specific song in the album. By this, I mean that the song is almost a little too specific to just her story. Even just slightly tweaking some of the very specific personal details with a broader idea could make the song a little more relatable to the listener. However, there is a nice transition midway through the song that really changes the direction for it, and makes for a more colorful and unique listen.
Sharing a sweeter and more sensitive nature is “Wander Feeler.” It’s paired beautifully with some wispy vocals and some light strumming on the guitar to really pull the song together. There’s a bit of sadness behind the song, but it picks up to create that tension and release that we see in so many emotionally-invested songs.
This next song “Falling For You” is completely instrumental, and very easy for the average listener to follow. It’s backed with this nice tempo and rhythm to it. Even though the sound is similar to the others in the song, it provides enough contrast that it becomes a nice break for the album.
“Never Alone” is another song that brings you deeper into her world with the use of a “slide guitar riff and ends with layered vocals cushioned on top of an auto-harp, soothing you like ocean waves at sunset…” Whereas, “I Want It All” holds a deeper message in its hands. The contrast between the spectrums of the harmonies added a lot of depth and space to the album, where at times that substance was lacking.
Closing the album is “Leave Me,” which really does leave us with this haunting-like nature embedded in the song. It was another great change of pace for the album, and the use of some dissonant chords borderline too strange for my liking, but the resolution back to the main melody worked really well and saved it.
Brown says that the opportunity to create as an artist is the most healing part of her life and “knowing that it could inspire and help others is a kick in the butt to wake up and stop making excuses.” Wander Feeler is a rollercoaster of emotions and ideas, and really highlights Easy Love’s ever-changing future.
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