Independent singer-songwriter and American Idol contestant Sydney Sherwood officially returns this weekend with her first new studio recording in almost three years. Sherwood is scheduled to release her sophomore EP Headspace Saturday through Keep It Simple Records. The six-song record is Sherwood’s sophomore EP and is an interesting new presentation from the up-and-coming singer-songwriter that is worth hearing at least once. That is thanks to the record’s musical and lyrical content, as is evidenced in part through the record’s lead single, ‘Creep.’ This song will be addressed shortly. ‘Let Me Down,’ its second single, is another example of how the EP’s overall content makes it successful. It will be addressed a little later. ‘All The Aces,’ which closes out the record, is yet another of its most notable additions. It will also be examined later. When it is considered along with the EP’s other three songs, the whole of the EP proves itself a positive new offering from Sherwood.
Sydney Sherwood’s forthcoming EP, Headspace is a positive new offering from the up-and-coming singer-songwriter that gives some hope for the future of her career in the music industry. The 24-minute record’s musical and lyrical content serve well to support that statement. Its lead single, ‘Creep’ is just one way in which the EP’s collective content makes the record engaging and entertaining. Its musical arrangement is immediately infectious with its bluesy groove and smoky vocals. The bass and solid time keeping work with the guitar and vocals to fully immerse listeners in the composition. The whole of the arrangement is infectious, but it also plays its own important part to the song. That relaxed almost…sensual vibe exuded in the arrangement actually does well to help illustrate the song’s lyrical theme, that being the relatable topic of mental health.
Sherwood openly talked about the noted topic during a recent interview. She said of the matter, “Being someone that has struggled with anxiety, when it came to writing ‘Creep,’ I really wanted to give an inside look on what anxiety feels like, the emotions you experience while in a panic attack, and the idea that the same mind that thinks of the beauty of life is also the one that thinks negative thoughts which can really drag you down.”… My main goal with this song was to illustrate the war that goes on in your head when you have anxiety as well as how you can either choose to let fear overcome you or you can overcome that fear.”
Her statements are illustrated in the song’s lyrics, which state in the song’s lead verse and chorus, “We’ve all got our demons/And we’ve all got our reasons for dealing/With this heavy baggage/The way we do/It takes a hold of you/Oh no/Here it comes again/Feels like I’m trapped inside a room/No blinds/No way to see it through/Locked down/I never knew/A beautiful mind/Could be so cruel/I’m blind/Down on the upside/Hide behind a smile/But I can’t lie/ Locked down/I never knew/A beautiful mind/Could be so cruel/Just inhale/Exhale/Count to ten/Before the thoughts creep back in.” That last line is where the song’s title comes from. The overall statement here clearly achieves Sherwood’s goal of translating what the noted figures go through in battling anxiety, feeling it literally creeping into one’s mind. The continued statements in the song’s second verse, of “living with ghosts” but having “figured you out” shows perhaps a hint of managing to overcome the noted negative thoughts and emotions. Again, the song’s musical arrangement works with these lyrics to sort of hint at how those thoughts and emotions tend to so coolly slide into a person’s mind. At the same time, the musical approach also echoes the ease in one’s mind in recognizing and overcoming the situation at hand. It makes the song a good example of why Sherwood’s new EP succeeds.
‘Creep’ is a good example of why ‘Headspace’ works as well as it does, and is just one example of why the EP is worth hearing. ‘Let Me Down,’ the EP’s second single, is another example of what makes the record worth hearing. The song’s musical arrangement is its own interesting presentation. It is an up-tempo work whose subtle keyboards work with Sherwood’s vocals and the other instruments to give the song a sort of country-pop sensibility. At the same time, those noted keyboards also give the song the most subtle of an 80s infusion. That overall approach and sound is certain to engage and entertain listeners in its own right. It is just one part of why the song is notable. The lyrical content that accompanies the song’s musical arrangement adds to the song’s appeal.
The lyrical content featured in ‘Let Me Down’ centers on the all-too-familiar topic of a broken relationship. Sherwood talked about that during a recent interview, noting, ““I wrote ‘Let Me Down’ with one of my favorite songwriters a few years ago after getting over someone I had feelings for for some time. I like to see the good in people and deep down I knew this person had good in them, but I looked at what that person could’ve been instead of the person that was standing right before me. I gave this person every chance to prove themselves and time and time again I was let down. I was so blinded by this false sense of reality that when this person let me down it felt shocking. I think a lot of people can relate to the fact that when you care for someone, you tend to overlook the negative things they do because you’re consumed with feelings, but now I realize it’s important to have one foot in reality at all times. Writing this song was one of my biggest moments of clarity to see that I deserved more. While the song is definitely not in favor of the guy, his actions opened my eyes to see what I don’t want and what I won’t tolerate. Had I never gone through this experience, I would’ve never known to look for those red flags in the future and I guess I have him to thank for this killer song.”
These comments are illustrated right from the song’s outset as Sherwood sings in the song’s lead verse, “These days are not feeling right/How could I be so blind/The only thing you did/Was so inconsiderate/You pulled the wool over my eyes/Now I’m just confused/Because of you/I gave you every chance/You threw my heart around…” The last couple of lines are slightly difficult to decipher without lyrics to reference, but more than enough of the content is understandable that it is easy to see that Sherwood has done well to translate her comments in this case. The song follows in quite similar fashion in the second verse, opening with Sherwoood telling that other person, “I wish you could see/How selfish you could be/And how it makes me feel/I wish the person that you were in my mind/Lined up with who you are for real/But now you’ll never say/I’m afraid you’ll stay the same.” Again, there is a lot here to which listeners can relate. Going back to the song’s musical arrangement, the energy in that element makes one believe that these are words that Sherwood is saying to that person in her mind, not quite to that person’s face. It would explain that energy, as it reflects perhaps, her racing thoughts at that moment. There is a certain sadness that goes along with those racing thoughts, adding even more to the interest of the song in whole. Keeping all of this in mind here, no question is left as to why the song was chosen as one of the EP’s singles. It does that much by itself to show why the EP is worth hearing. It is just one more of the songs featured in the EP that shows the record’s strength. ‘All The Aces,’ which closes out the record, is yet another way in which Headspace proves itself worth its own attention.
The musical arrangement featured in ‘All The Aces’ is a catchy, southern-tinged style work whose gritty guitar sound and vocals immediately lend themselves to certain works from the likes of Carrie Underwood. It is a song that is certain to become a fan favorite especially for live shows (whenever live shows return). The sense of confidence exhibited in the song’s musical arrangement pairs well with the song’s equally seemingly positive lyrical theme.
The lyrical theme featured in ‘All The Aces’ comes across as someone who is just trying to put the past behind — perhaps from a bad relationship — and move forward in life. This is inferred in the mention that, “No more/I’ll tell you the truth/Those days are gone/Gotta get back on and soldier on…go on and try me again/I wouldn’t recommend it/Can’t wait to see the look on your face…” There are points here that are difficult to decipher sans lyrics to reference. That aside, just enough is understandable here that this song is a (seemingly) direct contrast to ‘Let Me Down.’ It shows someone who has worked through the emotions of whatever happened with whomever in the past and decided to let it all go. It is a song that promotes self-empowerment, again making itself easy for listeners to relate. That accessibility, together with the entertainment and engagement ensured by the song’s musical arrangement, leaves no doubt as to the EP’s appeal. When it is considered alongside ‘Creep,’ ‘Let Me Down’ and the EP’s remaining trio of songs, the whole makes the EP a presentation that is deserving of its own share of attention.
Sydney Sherwood’s forthcoming EP Headspace is a positive new effort from the up-and-coming singer-songwriter. That is proven throughout the course of the record through the EP’s collective musical and lyrical content. Each of the songs examined here support the noted statements. When they are considered along with the record’s remaining works, the EP in whole proves to be a presentation that will put any listener in a positive mindset. Headspace is scheduled for release Saturday through Keep It Simple Records.
More information on Sydney Sherwood’s new single, video, and EP is available along with all of her latest news at:
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