The first EP release has to do a lot of work for the artist. It has to stand out from the crowd, showcase the artist’s vocal skills and capabilities, yet also keep some element of mystery that makes us want to come back for future releases. Despite existing in a strange middling between the average EP length of four songs, and the average album-length of 8 songs, Rachel Huggins’ debut EP, Keep Dreaming, is a wonderfully exciting, soulful, and undeniably complete addition to the collection of any jazz or R&B lover.
From songs such as ‘Opportunity Knocks’ to the titular ‘Keep Dreaming’, the Keep Dreaming EP is one full to the brim with hope, freshness, and a resounding depth in both tone and theme. Unlike many EPs that opt for the safe approach of just sticking to one genre, Keep Dreaming dares to be bold and opts for an eclectic, seamless fusion of genres. The result is a stunning debut that continually surprises and excites.
Though there is some variation of style throughout each track, the subtle, smooth undertones of classic jazz influences remain throughout. This provides a road of familiarity for listeners to journey down, taking new corners at every track whilst still feeling the comfort of the same brick road beneath their feet. Aside from smooth jazz, the EP also dabbles in new wave jazz, which will appeal to both casual listeners and avid fans alike, and RnB, complete with synthesisers, rapping, riffs, and more. The EP isn’t just one piece of artwork in a gallery – it IS the gallery.
Of course, Rachel Huggins’ vocal talent has to be applauded, too. From silky, smoky notes to impressive soulful inflexions, the Keep Dreaming EP demonstrates quickly and effectively that Huggins is not here to mess around – but here to stay. She displays immense control over her tone, leaving no doubt of her advanced capabilities and commitment to mastering the music she releases.
Overall, it’s clear that Keep Dreaming is an EP that could be a soundtrack to many moments in our lives. From car rides to rainy days, to days celebrating your biggest achievements, Rachel Huggins’ debut is one that will journey with you throughout many days of your life, transforming the mundane into the truly exceptional. All in all, it just keeps us dreaming for whatever she will release next – undoubtedly a full album to rock the charts.
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Words by Kayla