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Hattie Whitehead Hattie Whitehead
Album: Old Soul EP
Label: Self Released
Tracks: 4

Old Soul is the second EP from Richmond born singer songwriter, following up from the acclaimed Home in 2015. It hasn't been an easy time for her since, and the title of the new EP is a nod to the growing up she has to do following the loss of her mother in 2016. The loss left unable to pick up her guitar for some time, which explains the gap in releases, and it was like greeting an old friend again when she did turn to music once more.

It's no surprise to find that the new release reflects this growing maturity. The opening track, Ups and Downs, features a wonderful floating vocal performance from Hattie, and a real honesty to the lyrics. Pouring emotion into creating music is far from rare, but seldom has it ever sounded as beautiful as it does here. More Than That is full of musical ups and downs, stunningly fragile at times but with sudden flourishes of strength and energy. It is an impressive performance.

The title track is full of wistful longing and sorrow and anger and power and catharsis. Written about difficult interactions with a friend over a period of time, this is a song that will resonate with many. The final song is I'm Seeing You Now, and this one is full of emotion. Covering the evolution of grief from that point of desperate sadness to the chink of light where thinking of the person lost doesn't just swallow you up fully, and leaves you grateful for the time you had together.

If it sounds like the subject matter makes this a depressing recording, nothing could be further from the truth. It doesn't shy away from the raw emotional side, but Hattie's lyrics and vocals make this overall an uplifting experience. This is music you can easily get emotionally invested in, with the simple imagery really drawing you in. Having recently been in a similar situation to Hattie Whitehead, the honesty is quite staggering, and it all adds up to an EP of real quality. Let's hope life allows her to make more music soon.

Adam Jenkins