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Emma Kupa

It Will Come Easier (Fika)

By • Oct 6th, 2020 • Category: Album review

Musician Emma Kupa has loaned her talent to many projects over the years. As a member of indie-pop three-piece Standard Fare, she released two well-received albums, but the band sadly decided to call it a day back in 2013. She is also the frontwoman for Mammoth Penguins and The Hayman Kupa Band; however, the time has finally come for Kupa to establish her own identity and showcase her solo talent.

Last month, Kupa released her debut solo album ‘It Will Come Easier’. Although a very relevant mantra for today’s challenging times, the album was in fact written over the course of several years. “The hope in the title is important to me,” says Kupa, “It is something I try to hold onto when things feel difficult”.

Kupa successfully conveys this sense of hope within the album through her compellingly honest lyrics. We are provided with an open insight into Kupa’s most intimate emotions, both positive and negative, that she found herself experiencing whilst navigating life in her early thirties. For those who have been through this, there will certainly be relatable moments and for those yet to experience this, the album acts as an honest means of preparation.

Kupa opens the album by asking the question, “Are you in love or are you in love with the attention?” in ‘Does It Feel New’. In the song’s lyrics, Kupa pushes somebody to tell the dark truth about a relationship. She displays her doubt that things may not be all they seem under the backdrop of light, pop-folk style music. Using this archetypically optimistic genre may run the risk of taking away the sincerity of Kupa’s lyrics – however, this is not the case. The juxtaposition works successfully and makes for a layered and complex track, which may not seem so on the surface.

The relationship between musical style and lyrical content remains important in several tracks throughout the album. In ‘Nothing At All’, we witness Kupa questioning herself by singing “What am I supposed to do? What can I even do?” before coming to the realisation that the answer is, in fact, nothing. Kupa understands that her only option may be to accept things are they are; however, we are led to believe that this is a rather positive and freeing realisation through the lyric’s musical accompaniment. Kupa employs the use of playful banjo in the track’s opening and maintains strong, bouncing guitar riffs in the chorus. ‘Nothing At All’ then develops into a striking orchestral section which builds into a beautiful crescendo of song and suggest that Kupa has escaped her worries and fears by simply accepting she must trust her own judgement.

Kupa depicts feelings of debilitating depression and hopelessness within ‘No Easy Way Out’. Her honesty is admirable as she describes struggling for money, losing touch with friends and feeling dissatisfied with her physical appearance. It features rather minimalistic accompaniment in comparison to other tracks on the album, however this allows her vocals and lyrics to take prominence. Kupa displays long, drawn-out vocals which mirror the exhaustion described in her lyrics. Undoubtedly, many will be able to relate to this song, particularly today. With the coronavirus pandemic impacting the mental health of countless individuals, it may seem that the times we are living through will never come to an end. Hearing Kupa expressing her raw emotion in such an accurate way helps us to remember that we are by no means alone in feeling this way and it is okay to allow yourself to feel vulnerable when times are hard.

Kupa follows a similar structure of minimalist musical accompaniment in ‘Hey Love’. The track commences with the sound of the fiddle playing a warm and inviting melody. When this concludes, we are introduced to Kupa’s acoustic vocals which showcase her distinctive vocal style. As ‘Hey Love’ continues, these vocals are carried by a very subtle string accompaniment . Just as in ‘No Easy Way Out’, Kupa’s vocals and lyrics remain the most prominent part of the song. Kupa establishes a solid understanding of people and relationships both within this song and throughout the album. It is clear that she will do anything for the one she loves, and this sentiment is felt in every word of Hey Love. It is a love song that anybody would be proud to have dedicated to them.

The album concludes with ‘Crying Behind The Marquee’ – a song where Kupa describes the emotions that can come alongside ruminating over past decisions. The narrative turns the happy event of a wedding into a reminder of Kupa’s personal trauma that she simply cannot escape. The musical accompaniment consists solely of piano, which provides her with the space to tell her story and present her most powerful and emotive lyrics. It is an impactful end to her album.

Not only does ‘It Will Come Easier’ showcase Emma Kupa’s intellect and emotional awareness, it also portrays her ability to combine her lyrics with an eclectic mix of music. From the folk-pop style of ‘Does It Feel New’, to the surf-rock style in ‘When Out Toes Are Long Enough’ and the elements of grunge and synth that we witness in ‘CP Reprise’, we remain captivated and aware of Kupa’s immeasurable talent. After listening to ‘It Will Come Easier’, there can be no doubt that Emma Kupa will be recognised by many as an exceptional artist who has faced no issue embarking on a solo career. ‘It Will Come Easier’ is a piece of work that Kupa should be exceptionally proud of.

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