Here we have the debut EP from Aria, and a really interesting release it is as well. The focus throughout is on her pure clear vocals which have a tone that bring the listener in close, no matter what style they are performing. In that sense she is somewhat reminiscent of {Emily Rice}, in that it does not matter what is going on beneath her in the accompaniment, the ear is always drawn to her vocals which are left pure and clear and her soul shines through. This seven-song collection is all about the voice, which has been produced in such a manner that it is always inviting, always welcoming and fresh.

One has the impression that Aria can turn her voice to anything, and it is no surprise to discover that not only has she been performing and recording with different bands, but she has also been working with NZ Opera, as one gets the impression that she has one of those voices which will work anywhere. It would be a huge simplification to say this collection is pop, or even soulful pop, as here Aria is demonstrating a mastery of multiple styles from Sixties Motown though gentle reggae into more electronic areas, always with her sultry vocals bringing us in closer. It is a fresh and clean sound, and the decision to let her vocals stay clear and true within the mix has been masterful as it allows her to really shine above the music. The way she throws her voice, almost scatting, in Glass is simply masterful as it brings in an innocence and vulnerability which contrasts greatly with the strength she displays on numbers such as Streetheart Deal, and all of this is different to what one expects when the EP commences with Love Letter, which has a simple acoustic guitar and vocal introduction.

This is an EP which is both immediate and a grower, and one senses she has been somewhat restrained in the studio as I can imagine the innocence and naivety displayed here can also be blown away with sheer power and I look forward to hearing more from her in the future. Until then this is a great introduction to a name we will all get to hear a lot more.

Rating: 8/10