Audrey Pearl – ‘Long Term Plans’ EP

The gripping sophomore EP from Audrey Pearl, Long Term Plans, melds enthralling folk and pop songwriting amidst lyrical depictions of life’s unique aspects—from the warm nostalgia of the past to the daunting yet exciting prospects of a hopeful future. “I settled where it’s warmer,” Pearl lets out on the opening track “Never Go Back,” which celebrates a refusal to “go back” and linger in the past, instead opting for warmer waters and hoping that another does the same; it’s an apt, inviting opener to an EP that consistently compels in its emotionally consuming songwriting.

The more rock-ready bounce of “She’s Holding My Hand” expresses a fear of growing older and the risks of “diving into the deep end,” enthralling in its anthemic depiction of growing up and facing life’s challenges. The title-touting refrain proves especially infectious as twangy guitars adorn alongside. The subsequent “Dustbunnies” furthers an increasing sense of self-assurance and personal growth, set against an introspective folk appeal with calming acoustics and occasional guitar jangles.

“Pale Yellow Moon” is also exemplary of Pearl’s talent for tonal escalations: the track rouses in its swell from folk-ready intimacy into an emotively cathartic rise, aesthetically reminiscent of Japanese Breakfast and Adrianne Lenker. The gorgeous vocal work and plucky guitar solemnness on the closing “Roommate Song” is a lovely send-off to the EP. “It’s hard to believe that we were ever strangers,” Pearl admits alongside gentle piano pulses and tender acoustics, emphasizing the beauty of connection and enduring friendships. Long Term Plans is a fantastic showcase of songwriting and heartfelt emotion from Audrey Pearl.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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