Phoebe Coco – I Am Not a Machine EP

‘I Am Not a Machine’ is Phoebe Coco’s intimate new EP.

Phoebe Coco – I Am Not a Machine

There’s an eclectic mix of sounds that helps make Coco’s discography deliciously inviting, but it’s her sense of self and ability to create unique soundscapes that has really defined her as an artist to look out for. Her newest EP ‘I Am Not a Machine’ is a beautiful glimpse into this brave new artist’s mind. 

The first track ‘Machine’ echoes the vocal elasticity and choral refrain of bands like ‘Soda Blonde’ while the instrumentation could hint at a ‘Sleeping at Last’ track on acid. Trying to compare the strong lyricism and lush atmosphere, however, would be futile. The song reflects Coco’s experience with city life and the wilderness, modern-day existence and the struggle to overcome everyday living contradictions. Three-time Grammy award winner Eduardo De La Paz co-produced this track, and its radio-friendly appearance never overcomes its personable form. Mastered by Kevin Tuffy (who recently won Mastering Engineer of the Year) ‘Machine’ is as smooth as they come. The track is also accompanied by a brilliant new music video:

Raised in a singing matriarchy of women, Coco embraces her family’s lineage and influence. It’s evident on every corner of this record, especially on ‘Clear Eyes’ and ‘Earth Dream’. As with ‘Machine’, both songs house these blisteringly unique ‘blood harmonies’ that help craft sonic landscapes of ecstatic passion.

Doused with subtle but present jazzy instrumentation, the EP isn’t afraid to take risks and let Coco’s personal tastes bleed onto classic songwriting structures and strong choruses. It’s arguably the EP’s biggest strength along with Coco’s haunting vocals. The rhythm taking a backseat on this EP at times allows the brass in songs like ‘Machine’ to nestle neatly into the mix. ‘Clear Eyes’ also lets the dreamy piano sit right and centre with a simple tambourine jingling in the background effortlessly.  

It’s increasingly difficult to find modern pop music with such personality and character. This EP is defined by Coco’s identity as a songwriter and as a human. There’s such power in tracks like ‘Earth Dream’s refined, intimate sound. The atmosphere in production wouldn’t be half as captivating without Coco’s chordal choices and siren backing vocals.

‘I Am Not a Machine’ drenches a rich canvas of pop ballads and soul influences, with character and intimate storytelling, a formula quickly becoming synonymous with Phoebe Coco’s sound.

Discover more from Phoebe Coco

Discover more from RCM

Words Ciarán Coleman