Recommended Tracks: “Nervous”, “Lonely”, “But You’re Happy”
Artists You May Like: Normani, Kehlani, Dove Cameron
In 1989, Madonna so joyously said, “Express yourself!” But how, Madonna, how? It is hard to put yourself out there sometimes, to speak your mind and totally just do you. In the end, though, do we want to be left with words unsaid? Thoughts unsung? On her debut EP, Unsaid, Vancouver R&B pop artist Andrea Clute finally releases all she has held onto over the years, giving us six tracks that touch on the good, the bad, and everything in between.
We start out with the good, with two tracks that demonstrate the power of love. Opening track “Green Eyes” is not an obvious love song, as Andreas is begging to see her partner’s “green eyes” again. Over soft pop melodies and acoustic guitar riffs, she sings, “Why won’t you call me baby? / What happened to us lately?” and “I just want to feel your love / When did I become too much?” hoping for a reset. Andrea then brings us to the beginning of new love with “Nervous.” Here, she uses a dance pop production to enhance that anxious feeling that arises when being around someone who is all-around breathtaking. The bright sounds that come through pair well with lines like, “I just get so worried about being cool around you,” transporting us to a cute yet vulnerable place.
For the bad, we get tracks like “White Flag” and “But You’re Happy.” She comes to terms with giving up on the moody “White Flag,” expressing her concern with breaking things off for good. Reflectively, she sings, “I don’t like to fight back / ‘Cause that’ll make you mad / Don’t wanna make you feel bad,” but understands that moving on is the right thing to do. We get to the point where the relationship is officially over on “But You’re Happy,” with Andrea desperately wanting her ex to be deteriorating during this time. Even though the lyrics are gloomy and filled with pain, there is a forward-moving energy to the track that convinces us that this period will blow over in no time.
As for everything in between, Andrea fills us in on what it is like after being struck by love but before the love dies out completely. She tries not to end up alone on “Lonely,” a soft and gentle R&B track with soothing sounds that take the sting out of the situation. The lyrics are where we find all the edge, Andrea giving us lines like, “Got me lookin’ foolish / Out here lookin’ stupid.” She feels so embarrassed to repair the relationship like this, but settles into it on “Got You.” Trying to maintain what she has, Andrea sings, “We were always more than friends / Don’t you know that I got you” and “I’m not looking to call it quits.” It leaves us feeling bittersweet, knowing that she is coming from a place of love but also from a place where she is hurt.
In regard to Unsaid, Andrea expressed that the writing process helped her open up and be honest with herself. She also mentioned that as a result, the project is a representation of everything she has always wanted to say and share but didn’t quite know how to. When you release such personal feelings and relive uncomfortable or downright upsetting situations, there is never a clear way to tell if you will feel better or worse for finally getting it out there. Still, it is worth trying because you may just make a killer debut EP. While Unsaid will not completely destroy you in the way an Adele album may destroy you, there is a lot of heart and emotion that will move you. Andrea’s honesty and vulnerability, along with her stunning pop-meets-R&B sound, ensures that there is more on the horizon for her, and we expect a lot more from her in time.
You can listen to Unsaid on platforms like Apple Music and Spotify.