Review: Juliet Simms “From the Grave” Stephanie Dooley July 29, 2016 Music 754 Tweet Share Share Email WhatsAppShares 0 For years many have claimed that rock is dead, and many have done their part to try and bring it back to life. Yet, if you listen real closely, and really looked at the music landscape, one would find that rock music isn’t going anywhere, no matter how hard people might try to push it out the door. This is the type of attitude and message relayed by the ferocious tones of Juliet Simms latest EP in which she proves that she herself is just like rock music, and they are both coming back from the grave. One July 15th, 2016, Juliet Simms released her newest EP powerfully called From the Grave in which she set out to really let her creative freedom, and her intense vocal power, let loose. The EP, which features an interesting mix of eight lyrically poignant and vocally riveting songs; all of which greatly ranged in tone, subject matter, and emotionally intensity. The EP in a way is leveled like a slope, in which the audience delves deeper with every song as they slowly coalesce down to become rawer, deeper, and centered around more jarring emotions. Returning to that point later, the EP begins with a bang, proving right off the bat that Simms is the farthest thing from dead. The first track, “Get Ready” dances along the line of pop and rock – easing the audience into the type of powerhouse that Simms really is. Though, to be clear – this is a rock EP. Simms is a dedicated rocker who isn’t afraid to add in pop flare, but at the end of the day rock is what she is going to stay true to. This therefore makes “Get Ready” a good song to begin with as it is both playful and a tease of the true rock value that Simms possesses vocally, and is really able to draw the audience into the world that which Simms is attempting to create. Then, under that question of whether or not the music is going to continue along a more pop-like vein, that’s when Simms hits you with one of my personal favorites on the EP – “Say Hello”. This song is my favorite for many reasons, number one being that it perfectly encapsulates the energy and vibe of Simms. It’s a strong song, with a great rock n roll feeling that pulls upon the lines of other great female rockers like Joan Jett. Yet it does all of this without taking itself too seriously. The song isn’t trying to prove itself as a rock song and force you to believe that it can hold its own; it simply does. From there, being blown away by one of the more energy driven songs of the bunch, the EP then rounds over to a more diverse territory with its next three songs: “Tidal Wave”, “My Last Whiskey Tears”, and “Trouble Finds You”. Each of these songs really test out the limits of that pop-rock combo, seeing how much infusion Simms can get away with without crossing too deep from one genre into the other. Just in comparison “My Last Whiskey Tears”, unlike the title would suggest, does hold a much more upbeat feel with its rhythm and tempo, which does end up coming off a bit more on the pop-ish end than one might have expected, while oppositely “Trouble Finds You” finds itself delving into a bit more darker territory; really reaching into the richness of Simms vocal ability and coming out back again in that more rock centric zone. “Tidal Wave” plays upon both, with rock like vocals and a more experimental beat that does a good job in really adding a new layer of flare to the song. That then takes us to the final arc of the EP: the emotional side. The final cluster of songs really hit home the pivotal emotions that compose the entire journey of the From the Grave, which is that it is a story of growth. Going from the more playful songs in the beginning, the end of the EP is based on a sense of maturity that really makes the whole collection come together. This includes the songs “Frances”, “Phoenix”, and the final track, “Found Missing”. “Frances”, another fan favorite of mine, really is just such a cool song. Based on Frances Bean Cobain, it is both lyrically inspired and carries itself in a way that is both haunting and mesmerizing all at the same time. It gave me chills the first time I heard it. Then comes the first single released from the EP, “Phoenix”, which is a personal tribute to that of Simms own experiences in the music industry. It is a song based on honesty, and that can be felt through every line, and every climax of the song. There are both highs and lows within the song, as with Simms own experiences, and thus proves to be a poignant one for Simms. Her own personal connection to the song really drives it home; creating an intense song that rounds us to the finale. “Found Missing” therefore ends the EP on a simple note – relaying simply on the use of a guitar and Simms voice to bring it all together. This song, though a more standardized ballad, really is a testament to the power of Simms voice as it proves that she doesn’t need any fancy backups or remixes or any other pop tricks that are now common in the music industry. All she needs are good lyrics and a good beat, and from there she is good to go. Overall, the entire EP is a roller coaster ride of emotions, and the audience is there for the ride. With every song a new layer is added to the collection, drawing upon many personal and powerful emotions to really create the perfect blend of songs within the eight selected. Through her new EP, From the Grave, Juliet Simms is able to once again prove the power and range of her voice while showing off her lyrical prowess and validating her ability to be able to mold many genres together while weaving one intense story.