Eva Westphal is a folk and indie pop singer songwriter based in New York, USA. Her latest EP brims with the healing power of self-love. It’s called Beautiful Little Life. Here’s my track by track review.
By Graeme Smith
Feature Photo by Caity Krone
Though new to us, Eva has been writing songs since the age of thirteen. Now 21, she has been making a name for herself online, going viral on Tik Tok and setting the blogosphere alight. Eva is classically trained and takes inspirations from legends such as Stevie Nicks and Brandi Carlile but her sound and lyrical messages are very much part of the zeitgeist. Alongside the theme of self-love, in her music she also speaks of mental health and LGBT+ issues.
The EP opens with its title track, which provides a great summation of what’s to come. There’s a confessional nature to Eva’s lyrics, painting a picture of her life, growing up and taking care of herself. The story takes place against a rich backdrop of classical and electronic instrumentals. The minimalism of the verse is nicely contrasted against swelling, soaring choruses. It’s a strong start.
Track two is She’s Mine, a delicate, acoustic love story. It’s a song that risks coming across as sappy, but avoids it through attention to detail and a sense of realism. The love Eva speaks of feels genuine, and we are allowed into the intimacy of the relationship. It’s wonderful song writing.
Thing’s Don’t Fit turns the microscope back onto Eva. Having recovered from an eating disorder as a teenager, this song is a celebration of that. Again, Eva spares no detail and the story of the track is all the more powerful for it. Instrumentally, things are inventive and unusual once again, with electro-acoustic textures and sudden change up keeping things fresh.
Opening the second half of the EP is Hey Americana, an exploration of living a city and dealing with unwanted male attention. It’s got a pop rhythm, channelling contemporary influences such as Taylor Swift. Between the lines, it’s a love story that speaks of knowing what your heart wants compared to what it definitely doesn’t.
The feeling of love carries through to Like Wine. There’s an intensity to the lyrics and a beautiful use of imagery. Eva has also had trouble with sobriety in her life so there’s a certain bitter-sweetness in her use of metaphor here.
It’s a subject that comes more clearly into focus in EP closer Magic. The instrumentals are kept to a simple acoustic guitar melody so that the listener’s full attention is on Eva’s voice. The lyrics hit hard, mixing the light with the dark. It’s Eva at her most raw, honest and compelling, and provides such a memorable end to the EP.
It’s rare that such a fantastic song writer comes along, even more rare that they are this accomplished this early on in their career. Eva Westphal is such a rarity and I’m so glad to have discovered her music. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have. You can listen to the whole of Beautiful Little Life below.