RELEASE: Into Deep Blue
REVIEW BY STEPHANIE TANG
Regaling in soft spoken elegance, ‘Into Deep Blue’ is Terra’s latest effort, and first acoustic EP. Showing a slow, pared back sound not previously heard in their work, it’s a delightfully surprising change. Comprising of new single ‘Song for Maddie’, and acoustic versions of two previously released tracks, would it be blasphemous to say these outshine the originals?
Terra is known for their angsty, pop punk tone, but the slow, lucid, crystal clear opening notes of ‘Song for Maddie’ is enough to silence all noise. Both of the loud rumbling traffic and incoherent ramblings in your mind. Listen to vocalist Cassie Sutton’s soothing voice tinged with reflection, regret and candid honesty, weaving between a gentle guitar melody. It’s great to hear vocals taking centre stage, as on previous material the balance between instrumentals and vocals were off. It was difficult to pick up the vocal melody through pounding drums and multiple guitars. Sutton has a great voice and its’ sweetness, working with, not against the guitar melody creates a solid ambience. Combined with a tempo that steps just right, building into the vocal round seeped with emotional strength, you are immersed in the track. The absolute star of this EP.
A soft humming opening, ‘Breaking’ continues the eased calm. There was worry that it would be just the original minus drums and bass, however tweaks in tempo and vocal cadence have been considered. Efforts to present the track in a new sound, allowing time to inflect new emotions with the slower tempo are appreciated. Many times, acoustic versions are too similar to the original. When I choose to listen to acoustic, I want to be serenaded by gentle melodies and be surprised at the twist and turns, not the same song just with an acoustic guitar.
Of course, ‘Confidence’ being one of Terra’s most popular tracks, is on this EP. Still possessing a steely edge and determined fighting spirit, here is when a little aggressiveness is needed, and yes it shines. Undoubtedly, the original is in heavier rock territory and would not have been an obvious choice to take down the acoustic path. Yet I am glad they did, as once again Sutton’s emotive voice can play hero, with solid backing vocals and room to display her vocal dexterity. A pacing rhythm that is pushed on when urgent, and pulls back when needed, plaintively raw feelings which may not have been evident in the original, can be felt here.
Maybe it’s massive job losses, maybe it’s the uncertain future or maybe it’s thoughts of people from the past I can’t shake, but ‘Into Deep Blue’ came at a crucial time. There’s no need to completely stop, just take things slow. The slower pace allows time for reflection, where thoughts and emotions can seep through wrapped up in a safe cocoon of warmth. If Terra can bring more of this gentle persona and entwine it within their passionate rock ego, there will be a whole new ball game, and I want front row tickets.