EP Review: May Roze – Heal

May Roze is a Swiss-born, London-based electronic pop singer songwriter who has just released her debut EP. Used to process an emotionally difficult part of her life, it’s called Heal. Here’s my track by track review.

By Graeme Smith

Though Heal is May’s debut EP, she’s hardly new to the world of music. She started performing at the tender age of three and grew up influenced by the likes of Kate Bush, Sade, Björk, Enya, and musical theatre. In her native Switzerland, she reached the semi-finals of their Eurovision contest, and has previously hit the charts in the UK with her single Again.

The EP opens with A Few Months. It sets the tone with a darkly ambient electronic arrangement. Bass percussion feels like a heartbeat, against the story of the track is set. May’s vocals are pleading, full of desire and frustration. The track builds to an emotive climax, punctuated with a distorted and catchy synth melody. It’s a strong start.

Track two is Why, and it appropriately plays out like an open question. The percussion is textured and interesting. May’s vocals start spoken word, explaining to some anonymous party how she will no longer wait. There’s a sultriness to the chorus which makes the listener really want to be able to answer her question.

Previously released single When I See Your Face comes next. It starts experimental, ambient and low-key and definitely feels like a stand out. May pushes her sound and it’s all the better for the bravery. What she doesn’t lose is her characteristic delicate and soulful vocals. It’s certainly an EP highlight.

By contrast, Mad feels an antithesis. Delicacy is set aside for a percussive arrangement that feels almost industrial. Long bass notes provide a healthy touch of moodiness and May’s vocals take on a call and response style, suggesting internal struggle. Yet, as the track goes on, things take a hopeful turn, and a bright, airy climax feels cathartic.

It’s a viewpoint that’s cemented by the EP’s penultimate track Everything Changes, which seems to represent the acceptance stage of grief. There’s a pensiveness and reluctance to it, but its keyboard arrangement is bright and positive, even while the lyrics talk of loss. In an arresting moment, the instrumentals fall away, letting the emotion of May’s vocals speak for themselves.

It leads nicely into the EP’s title track, its closing meditation. Mournful synths lay the groundwork before playful percussion join in, leaving behind a sense of growth and rehabilitation. It’s a beautiful track that proves the adage that sometimes less is more, and I think May’s sound is at its strongest during these stripped back tracks. Heal wraps up the EP nicely.

Heal is simply a stunning a debut which will hit you right in the heart. I’ll certainly be keeping an eye out for what May Roze does next. You can check out her EP below.