COVE RED Awaken the Dreamer (KAMCO)
So what’s the use of power and influence if you don’t use it for the benefit of your loved ones, family and friends? Eh?
About seven months after commencing The Noise Apprenticeship Program (with yours truly as mentor), Rachael Teo (together with utility player, Yinky) unleashes the debut Cove Red “unofficial” EP to raise funds for her upcoming study trip to the USA. So how do I review this EP without the slightest bit of bias? I don’t. I just call it as I see it, as usual.
Awaken the Dreamer represents everything I believe about music – that all you need is a song delivered by vocal and instrument, to bring the message across – to tell the world what you’re about. Stripped down and recorded live by Lunar Node’s Gerald Koh, Awaken the Dreamer is a glorious revocation of the early 70s Laurel Canyon singer-songwriter movement that I know and love so well. The focus is on simple arrangements with two guitars and the odd violin to forge shimmering jazz-folk-pop music.
Every single tune is a winner.
Love and Water – is given the 80s Style Council treatment, breezy and cool – even if the chorus is written by yours truly (is self-praise even praise?). The final choral harmonies are genuinely spine-tingling (great work, girls).
Dreamer – The production on this title track (not to be confused with the new Fire Fight single) is particularly impressive as Rachael’s yearning voice will leave its mark on you, without problem. Again, the 70s vibe is irresistible.
Mistakes – This confessional track is probably the most upbeat one on this EP and probably the weakest as well. That said, it contains a dynamic chorus which showcases the duo’s harmonic strengths perfectly. Not to mention Yinky’s soloing skills.
Till You Come – A gorgeous ballad about future love that once again highlights Rachael’s sweet larynx which would not be out of place on the early 70s hit parade.
Heart Conversations – This is the song that convinced me that Rachael is a gifted songwriter beyond her tender years. Blessed with a tune that Paul McCartney himself would be proud to call his own. With a relevant message for these troubled times – “Why worry about tomorrow, when tomorrow’s not come round”. Embellished by Yinky’s mournful violin, Heart Conversations is the appropriate way to close this wondrous EP.
I know, I cannot escape the old school references but this is precisely the reason why I believe that Rachael will be around for the long haul, with melodic/harmonic sensibilities this potent, Rachael Teo is a name you might want to take note of. Yes, I’m proud of both Rachael and Yinky for achieving so much with so little. So please go now and get the EP!
Now to listen to the EP again…
Check out Cove Red’s Myspace page.