Ebb & Flow
Felicity Vanderveen was just 11 when she started writing and recording music, and the Brisbane artist has since found it the ideal medium for honest, no-holds-barred self-expression. Nerve—her sophomore EP under the FELIVAND moniker—was written during a period of frustration and self-doubt. It’s a collection of introspective odes that blend gauzy pop with neo-soul that sounds far sweeter than their themes suggest. Instead of pushing against her grievances, Vanderveen leans into them, pouring her innermost thoughts into these six songs. On opener “Ebb & Flow,” she struggles with the dizzying ideals and constant disappointments of online relationships. "I see you on my phone screen more than I’d like, now it’s after nine," she sings. "No matter how hard I try, I never find paradise." On “Trajectory” she expresses feeling overwhelmed by her emotions, singing directly to a former friend whose toxic antics tested her kindness and patience: “There’s nothing left here to restore/I didn’t ask about your victories/Take me off your trajectory.” Vanderveen has the ability to present scathing critiques of old friends and past lovers (“Midsummer Sun”) atop soulful, rather comforting soundscapes influenced by ’90s alt-pop and warm R&B (“L/D”). Even in the breezier, more upbeat moments where she pauses for self-reflection (“Gone”), Vanderveen is candid in her observations.