Alumna releases oh-fish-al EP

Grace DeKoker, Editor-in-Chief

LT alumna Josie Dunne ‘15 has not slowed down since the release of her first single- in the four months since “Old School” came out, she has put out a second single (Good Boys), and on June 1, she released her first EP titled “To Be the Little Fish”. An EP- short for extended play- is a collection of tracks that is more than a single, but not quite a full length album. “To Be the Little Fish” is composed of six songs, four of which had never been heard before by her listeners. In her standard style, each song is unique and easy to sing along to whether listening quietly on headphones or blasting in the car.

I wasn’t sure what to expect with this EP, as I didn’t know much about Dunne’s musical style. Old School was a quick hit, but I wondered if her other work would live up to it. After just one listen of “To Be the Little Fish,” it was evident that Dunne’s talent goes far beyond a great pop song. Categorizing the album into one musical genre is a challenge, as individual songs contain hints of blues, jazz, soul and pop- many of which are seamlessly blended together in a single track.

Old School is poppy, catchy, and ultimately tells her parents’ heart-touching love story, emphasizing their sweet romance with by piano riffs and bright trumpets. More upbeat songs on her EP are centered around romance as well, like Good Boys; the lighthearted ditty is flirty and fun, with a personality all of its own. It still boasts a melodic tune, featuring guitar, strong drums, piano and ukulele to accompany Dunne’s vocals. She wasn’t the solo writer of all her songs though; Make You Mine was written by Scott Stevens, and though Dunne said “it was a new vibe” on her Instagram, it fits in perfectly and makes listeners want to get up and dance. There’s an old school (pun fully intended) sound to the song, and the thrumming drums sets the tone as upbeat and swing-style.

Her slower tracks may not have blaring trumpets and cute riffs, but are soulful and full of emotion that lets her story-telling style of songwriting shine through. School For That is blues-y and extremely relatable to her young audience, vocalizing how there is no formula or class taught in school to explain the intricacies of dating. She plays with auto-tune in a few tracks, and in this one weaves vocals that almost sound a like a school choir throughout the song. Saying Goodbye has less noticeable effects, and is in my opinion the most untouched sounding song of the album- it personifies the emptiness felt in the absence of someone, and Dunne’s lyrics are enough to convey such a message. Her EP wraps up with an acoustic guitar heavy Cool With It; the authentic sound summarizes Dunne’s style perfectly, and the title summarizes how everyone should feel about the EP.

I’m someone who loves a strong piano influence in my music alongside a steady rhythm, and I have to say the beats in her a few songs were sometimes overshadowed by the complex melodies. Her instrument choice is spot-on for each song, conveying the perfect message at all the right times- the slow and minor piano chords of Saying Goodbye bring deeper meaning to the lyrics, just as the horns in Make You Mine give it a fun and fast feel. Each song uses a variety of different instruments, though sometimes the sound it muddled and it is difficult to differentiate between instruments, such as in Make You Mine and School For That.

NO matter her accompaniment, the spotlight always falls to her lyrics. Each song is honest, quirky, and tells a story from start to finish- falling for someone, a heartbreak, the road to closure. She sings with passion, further authenticating her lyrics, and she misses the repetitive trap many up-and-coming artists fall into. Her lyrics mimic clever poetry or spoken word more than song, but when paired with her musical talent, there’s no question that her words were meant to be sung.

Dunne’s songs are modern, soulful, and full of personality, and are a refreshing break from mainstream music. Blending Motown vibes with pop and a bit of her own spunk, she creates a sound unlike any other.