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  • Writer's pictureGemma Cockrell

EP REVIEW: E.R.I.E. - Suburban Tranquility

An EP which not only reimagines tracks from the band's latest album, but breathes new life into them

Released as a companion piece to last year’s full-length, Suburban Mayhem, E.R.I.E.’s new EP, Suburban Tranquility takes six songs from that record and reimagines them in a much quieter setting. Where heavy guitars and pounding drums drove the tracks forward in their original forms, here, these are replaced by gentle piano keys, floating synths, soothing strings, and carefully layered vocals.

Taking these songs apart and reconstructing them in a new form highlights a vulnerability to them which wasn’t shown in their original states, accentuating the meaning behind the lyrics, which can often be lost when the instrumental is the driving force. When everything is stripped back, the storytelling is at the forefront, replacing the instrumental as the core focus of these songs.

The EP’s opening track, ‘Picture of You’, features the vocals of Julia Alsarraf, layering them

harmoniously with the main vocal line before they come to the forefront towards the end of the track, towering in power and strength as strings soar in the background. Lauren Foster’s vocals are used in a similar way on the following track ‘Can’t Stop Runnin’, echoing hauntingly in the background to add another impactful layer to the song.

Strings are relied on heavily on the track ‘World is on Fire’, alongside backing vocals from Sydney Worthley, as the lines “the world on fire again” and “should have done more, could have done more with my life” are repeated over again with a despondent tone of desperation and longing.

Reimagining their full-length record: E.R.I.E.

Meanwhile, there are no guest vocals on ‘Long Way Around’, which is driven by keys and percussion, allowing breathing space within the simplicity of the arrangements.

The final studio-recorded track, ‘Little Heartbreak’ layers backing vocals from Caity Gallagher with twinkling synths and uplifting strings, bringing hope as they sing “I had a little heartbreak but I found a little love” in union. Then, the EP closes with a live recording of ‘After All’ from The Bunker Recordings in New York, where the vocals are stronger and more prominent, despite not being layered like the previous tracks. This fits perfectly with the lyrics: “Believe it or not, we’ll come back stronger than before.”

Not only does Suburban Tranquility reimagine these tracks from the album, but it breathes a whole new lease of life into them. E.R.I.E. show that they can do the best of both worlds, whether you’re seeking powerful, rock-heavy anthems to get you through the week, or something a bit more reflective for a lazy Sunday afternoon. While it is definitely recommended that you revisit the original versions when you get the chance, Suburban Tranquility is a worthwhile listen in its own right.

Rating: 7.9/10

Suburban Tranquility is out on Friday (26 April) via Mint 400 Records

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