On the first listen, I described Demae’s debut EP as sonic soundscapes for serenity, a body of work flowing like water and taking the listener on a journey that feels like cleansing and healing. After multiple listens of “Life works out… Usually”, the sentiment remains the same throughout the project as we are immersed into fresh scents of white sage, lemongrass, lavender and white tones sprinkled with bursts of colour at every turn!
Starting with “People are weird”, Demae questions the authenticity of people in the digital age, speaking on the perceived need to pretend and be someone other than self, challenging the notion and what we deem to be normal. This seems to be an indication into how honest the rest of the project will be as she prepares us to look intrinsically and question our own selves.
The second track “Basic Love” is such a well-written ode to love coated in spacey, soulful production by the one and only 10.4 Rog. Documenting the strength and beauty of love, it’s a very simple yet complicated track which could be about more than romantic love, emphasising that what Demae is singing about is not a basic love, but deep and layered. My thoughts take me to the love she has for music and creativity, this is something to be explored further but I love that it’s not as obvious as it seems initially.
On “Stuck in a daze” the lead single from “Life works out… Usually”, Demae tags in Ego Ella May and Joe Armon-Jones to create one of my favourite collaborations of the year. This is a track that puts me in a trance whenever I listen to it, the vocals of both artists are near perfect and invoke hues of dark purple, royal blue and white through the lighter key notes. Documenting the uncertainty of infatuation and the intensity of being lost in love. The track alludes to being in a sort of bondage to what we love and not being able to escape, which could represent many artist’s struggles with creativity and navigating the music industry landscape.
The project is littered with Demae’s ability to write from what seems like a genuine and honest place, often reflecting on what’s real to her. A great example of this is “Ford”, a track which seems to be about her first car, but really describes freedom and gratitude emboldened by moments of reflection over the most illustrious sounding harp with hints of gold and glitter re-enforcing the message of gratitude and appreciation towards the end of the track.
The soft, floating vocals of Demae make for a comforting space to be in whilst being doused in messages of encouragement, empowerment and enlightenment. This can be heard in the track “Use it” which is almost like an affirmation or meditation for the soul.
“Use it, never abuse the mind you came with” – A bold reminder that our mind is such a powerful tool that we can’t let go to waste.
There are so many layers to this track coated in a trippy, bass-heavy production. The simplicity of the production allows the message to come through loud and clear, a truly spiritual and inspiring reflection with specific instructions to aid our elevation and growth!
“Let go” produced by Wu-Lu with keys from Joe Armon-Jones, is a track that speaks to my spirit and sounds like something I should be burning sage to. It places me in a huge lavender field with clear blue skies above, celebrating the the new found freedom that comes with letting go of what no longer serves me. It’s a reminder to really be one with self and embrace all the parts that make us whole. Listening to this track makes me wonder what Demae has had to let go of to reach this space in which she can deliver such transcending, reflective and uplifting sounds.
The harmonies underneath the lyrics “It’s your time, it’s your time” feel affirming and as though she’s speaking directly to me as the listener. The production by Wu-Lu is also notable and contrasting yet intentional, as the bass feels grounding while the guitar and the keys from Joe Armon-Jones feels elating and inspiring.
The final track “Seasons Change”, is a calming meld of vocals, minimal production and simplistic melodies assisted by Fatima. The final third of this track is one of the most beautiful things I’ve heard this year, the poetic verse over subtle and calming harp chords is accompanied by drifting backing vocals but makes such a powerful statement.
“What will be will be, and may I trust, life works out usually”
Demae’s debut project is intentional, deep rooted, reflective and encouraging for those who are on their journeys and sometimes doubt where things are going. It’s made for the dreamers, who only need to keep believing and putting one foot in front of the other.
This comes at an important time in our lives where unemployment rates have sky-rocketed, death is looming, politics is out of hand and the world just needs healing. “Life works out… Usually” offers some space and time to just be, a moment to tap out of the world and be with self, guided by the serenity of Demae’s creative process.
The EP is out now and available to purchase exclusively on Bandcamp: