When it comes to listening to artists like Ellie Goulding, Imogen Heap, and Colbie Caillat, usually you’re looking for an out-of-body experience of some sort. Not necessarily something that takes you on a wild ride or has you expect the unexpected, but rather, it takes you somewhere that in the busy rush of life, you often forget to stop and visit. From their voices to their lyrics, to their melodies, these women are capable of getting you to stop and just breathe even if for just one moment or song. It’s the beauty of the indie and folk genre(s) in music; they grant the permission to allow leisure and inspiration to be explored at will.
Laura Brehm’s debut EP, Breathe, currently out is a self-produced 4-track glimpse into Laura’s journal revealing her inspirations and experiences. “This EP focuses on themes that inspire me the most: passion, dreaming, self-awareness, healing the past, taking chances, falling in love, friendship, finding the truth, hope, and living in the moment,” Laura says. While Breathe may be a new sound for fans to hear from her, the accompanying 7-track remix EP combines her loves and talents of folk and EDM.
“Awake & Dreaming” // “Awake & Dreaming (AK Remix)” & “Awake & Dreaming (Elliott Berger Remix)”
The first song on the EP, “Awake & Dreaming” evokes the feeling of waking up in the morning with its soft strum of a guitar, birds chirping, and the feel of a cool spring breeze seeping in through your cracked window. The song has a strength, determination, and empowerment sewn into it.
This song has one of my favorite lyrics on the EP, “I will chase what is beyond / I will find myself where I am taken / For I’ll be there for a reason.” The songs melody along with the original and the remixes are just peaceful enough to be considered a calming hymn. (While they’re all very dream-like, the Elliott Berger mix is the one with the most club-like dream feel to it.) Laura has created a self-awareness within this song where the singer has realized where they are currently is trapped in a place where they are expected to be someone they are not and being held back and will now change that.
The second song on the EP, “Breathe” is the titular song and the first single off the EP. The music video features the singer and her significant other walking through the woods together with the two trying, but ultimately failing to keep from drifting apart. But, in the end, there comes a realization that the sun will still rise and maybe it was better that they let go and breathe than hold on to something that wasn’t working.
All three versions of “Breathe” are fairly different. While the original is more linear and soft, the Last Heroes & Crystal Skies remix is more EDM while the Watgood remix feels like it takes inspiration from pop and soul. They all manage to work in telling the story though. According to Laura, the song is about, “being so in love that life feels like a dream, having that shattered when the relationship is over and learning, and then learning how to let go and breathe.” The shattering of the relationship makes the world feel like it’s shattering along with it, but as the song says, sometimes it’s time for you to wake up and face what’s surrounding you.
“Dance of Love” // “Dance of Love (Faodail Remix)” & “Dance of Love (Rameses B Remix)”
If you’re someone who, when it comes to falling in love, you often find yourself looking in hesitant and perfectionist ways, I have the song for you. The song is one of the more upbeat ones on the EPs from the original melody to the EDM mixes. The song deals with love at first sight and experiencing that infatuation when you’ve been used to it never working out before and yet this time, you’re hopeful and willing to give it a try.
This song has one of my other favorite lyrics on the EP, “I spent so much time wondering why / Love didn’t go as I planned / But it was already written.” It is an exploration of love and the chances that need to be taken when it comes to falling in love. That’s what makes this song so interesting is that the love is both immediate and a push and pull at the same time.
“Parallel” // “Parallel (Ephixa Remix)”
“Parallel” is the final song of the EP. It’s an eerie and surreal feeling with the layers of Laura’s voice. While the original on the Breathe EP has a similar calmness that the other songs do, the Ephixa remix is the most upbeat in terms of instrumentals on both of the EPs. This song hints at taking risks with someone that may know you better than you know yourself. Similar to “Awake & Dreaming” the song feels like it’s about wanting to escape something/feeling trapped in loneliness until the singer realizes that they can jump, that they’ve found something, or someone, that gives them the energy they need to just ignite the flame that was in them all along.
Here is where, as a writer, my absolute favorite lyric of the EP resides, “I want a story worth to tell / I don’t want to do this by myself / I have searched oceans trying to find / And now I have what I had in mind.” This song has a very exciting storytelling aspect to it that just sucks you in. In my opinion, “Awake and Dreaming” and “Parallel” seem like they could go hand in hand which is what makes it a great choice to close out the EP if you listen to it in order. The songs have a similar determination, strength, empowerment, and now an urgent need that feels universally relatable.
Want to learn about Laura and the making of the Breathe EPs? Be on the lookout for our interview with her out soon.
(photo cred: TBA)