You might have noticed already, but if you hadn’t, I’m about to tell you anyway – we’re HUGE fans of Liv Austen at Belles and Gals. We’ve featured a number of her songs on the site, such as the emotional and uplifting ‘The Guts You Always Had’ and her brilliant new song ‘The Next Time’ while we also conducted an interview with Liv, the interview being one of my (Nick) personal highlights since starting the site. Today we take a look at Liv Austen’s new EP “Who I am Today”, featuring four tracks from the London based singer/songwriter.
The EP starts off with ‘Don’t Regret a Single One’, a song we also featured on the site when it was released as a single. The song starts off on a high, the opening notes promising a lively and upbeat number and Liv delivers exactly that. The song is about learning from past relationships and moving on with a positive attitude. For a song which is essentially about dealing with break-ups, it has an amazing ability to put a smile on your face, with some great lyrics along the way. This is exemplified by the chorus line “If I stayed with my high school sweetheart, I wouldn’t be who I am today”, which is basically the crux of the song, and where the title of the EP comes from. This is a song where you just have to turn the volume up!
The next song on the EP is “Two Choices”. In some ways the subject matter is similar to the opening song, although on a much wider scale than just in regards to relationships. Liv sings about the fact that you have two options when dealing with any situation, being bitter or giving love. It’s clearly a very personal song, as she talks about a particular past relationship and her own parents in the lyrics, while the line “When you first forgive, is when you start to live” perhaps sums up the overall message. The song builds and builds to an excellent crescendo and really shows off the brilliant vocals of Liv Austen.
The EP’s third song is “I Just Want to See Him”, the slowest number of the four. You’ll quickly work out the basic theme of the song just from the title, although this song expands to be one about the dreaming of how the perfect relationship might pan out, looking ahead to a future that involves a marriage, children and a family life. This song is very different to the opening two and showcases the way that Liv Austen can deliver a range of both the up tempo numbers and those more emotional songs so well (which was also very evident in her ‘Working Man’s Dream’ EP).
The final song is a delightful surprise, as ‘Don’t Regret a Single One’ appears again, but this time a stripped down acoustic version of the song. I don’t know whose decision it was to include this version of the song on the EP, but it was a genius idea, as I love it. Which of the two is better? That’s a hard one for me to say. The first version is one you want to listen to loud in the car with the windows down, this version is the one you just want to listen to intently – both great in their own way.
Overall, ‘Who I Am Today’ is an uplifting and fresh EP from one of the UK’s finest exponents of country music. When listening to Liv, you can almost hear her smiling through the songs at times and her positivity is completely infectious. This is an EP that you’ll certainly listen to again and again.
‘Who I am Today’ is released next Friday, the 20th May and can be pre-ordered on iTunes today by clicking here