Review Summary: It isn't often that you stumble across a free album that truly holds your attention and leaves you looking for more.
I have a confession to make… I feel ill-prepared to review this album. The reason is that before I accidentally stumbled across it on the internet I had never even heard of Sarah Fimm. I actually did try to conduct further research on her and her music before writing this, but there is very little out there. That means that I can’t tell you if this EP is better or worse than her previous works; in fact I can’t even tell you if it’s similar. What I can tell you is that she made it available for free as a Christmas gift and it is obvious that she poured her heart and soul into it. It is because this EP is currently available as a gift to her fans that I wanted to expose it to others before the links inevitably disappear.
If I had to make direct comparisons, I would say that Sarah’s music most closely resembles the later works of Sarah Mclachlan
combined with the trip-pop of Lunik
’s first few albums. For those unfamiliar with those bands, allow me to elaborate. Sarah Fimm specializes in mellow, yet catchy, acoustic-based songs that contain the grooves and electronics commonly associated with trip-hop. Despite the limited scope such a description might seem to imply, the songs manage to be very diverse. A lot of the diversity can be attributed to the large amount of guests on this album. Over the course of these six songs you’ll get to hear everyone from Josh Freese (Nine Inch Nails
, A Perfect Circle
) and Tony Levin (King Crimson
, Liquid Tension Experiment
) to Jerry Marotta (Ani DiFranco
, John Mayer
This diverse range of talent that also includes cello, violin and viola players pretty much ensures that every song is going to have its own personality. That means that even though opening track, “Counting Waves”, seems to imply that the album is going to be full of catchy, mid-paced acoustic folk, it only takes one listen to the gloomy trip-hop of the following track, “Let it Run” to realize that it isn’t the case. Upon further listening, it turns out that there’s also moving, synth-driven songs (Tamara Song) along side mellow piano pieces (Fly) and ambient soundscapes (White Birds). The amazing thing is that despite the variation, the album never sounds disjointed or pieced together.
One-hundred percent of the credit for holding this album together can be given to the beautiful vocals of Sarah Fimm herself. If there is only one constant within this EP it is that Sarah’s vocals never fail to impress; they are full of emotion and consistently beautiful and touching. It is the emotive nature of her voice that allows a largely electronic song such as “Tamara Song” to go from being just a collection of sterile electronics to being a truly poignant experience. If this was just an isolated experience than it wouldn’t be as big of a deal, but she is able to take every song and make it into something more than the music might imply on its own.
At only six songs the only thing disappointing about this EP is its short length. When the final notes of the title track fade away I’m left still wanting more. Whether it’s the trip-hop of “Let it Run” or the soothing nature of “White Birds” I simply want more songs. If nothing else, this album has definitely inspired me to investigate her back catalog in search of more gems like the ones found on here. If this EP even remotely sounds like something interesting there is absolutely no reason not to follow the link and download this for yourself. At the very least you’ll waste a few minutes of your time, but more than likely you’ll find yourself a very enjoyable listening experience and potentially the desire to delve into her other albums, as I have.