Emerging Artist Alessia Cara Shines in Debut EP

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Jenna Grayson, Staff Writer

 At 19 years old, Alessia Cara  has already released an EP with a single that made it to the top 40 charts, currently has a music video with 19 million views, performed on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon,” been in Teen Vogue, has signed with the record label Def Jam (Frank Ocean, Kanye West, Leona Lewis, Justin Bieber), performed her hit single “Here” on Taylor Swift’s 1989 tour with Swift and on top of all of this, Cara had her debut album come out on Nov. 13. It’s safe to say that she can probably die in peace now.

 “Four Pink Walls” starts off with Cara’s “Seventeen,” which is a song about her reminiscing about her childhood and wishing that she had appreciated it more. Cara says on genius.com, a lyric analysis website that, “When you’re a little kid you think that there’s this magic in being an adult. But as you get older, I feel like the magic goes away a little bit. The innocence goes away,” and she added that the second track on her EP “turned into a pretty nostalgic song.”

 In her next song on her EP, it continues with Cara’s hit “Here,” which has an indie pop sound with hints of R&B in it. It’s sardonic with an upbeat tempo, creating a perfect contrast. Cara describes “Here” as “the most ’90s R&B-sounding song” on the EP. She says that she wrote the song about a party that she had recently been to she summarized how she wrote the song on a “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” web exclusive clip describing it as, “the most uncomfortable party I had ever gone to” and that while she was there, she “just didn’t know how to talk to people.” In “Here,” Cara describes herself as an “anti-social pessimist” and “standoffish,” which many listeners of this song seem to be able to relate to. However, the songwriting process of “Here” seemed to be a lot less painful for Cara; she added more on how she wrote the song on a “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” “How I Wrote the Song” clip saying, “And I was really angry about it because I realized how uncomfortable it was. And then it ended up turning into this big song in rant form.”

 “Four Pink Walls” then continues onto “Outlaws,” which has lighter and almost “fluffy” tones compared to the first two songs on Cara’s debut EP. When writing “Outlaws,” Cara says that she thought about a “partner in crime” and adds that one of her co-writers, Sebastian Kole, and she turned the song “into a Bonnie & Clyde type of thing.” With hints of a saxophone and horn along with powerful vocals and the subtle echoes of “O-O-O-Ohhhh-ooh” in the background, “Outlaws” is one of Cara’s most triumphant masterpieces that especially showcases her talent.

 Next on Cara’s EP is “I’m Yours,” which continues with the more romance-entwined side of her music. Cara says that she wanted to write a love song, but one “that wasn’t nice — kind of like an ’eff you’ love song.” In the fourth track, Cara is unapologetically vulnerable, croning, “So all that I’m asking is that you handle me with caution;” “ And I would be lying if I said I wasn’t scared to fall again;” and “I’ve had my heart broken before.” Cara’s exposed emotions of rapture and infatuation combined with fear and brutal honesty display her effortless songwriting along with her ability to capture her raw feelings through song.

 The final song on “Four Pink Walls” is the title track. The song is about time that Cara spent in her room, mainly as a child, and her dreams of becoming a singer. Cara says that her walls “were pink for about 15 years. My room is special to me because it’s the biggest memory I have of my childhood. It’s all I would see.” Although the literal walls are sung about in the fifth track, the lyrics seem to be a sophisticated extended metaphor about Cara’s boredom, restlessness and hope for success, which is shown when Cara sings, “I grew up memorizing all the cracks in the wall, staring up at the ceiling watching particles fall.”

 The debut EP of Alessia Cara lives up to all of the hype and has garnered overwhelmingly positive reviews from critics praising her honesty and relatability that is continent throughout all five tracks of “Four Pink Walls.” If you’re looking for songs with strong vocals, a diverse range of instruments and genres and truthful lyrics, then Alessia Cara’s “Four Pink Walls” is highly recommended.