From the first haunting chords of the intro track “Home” to the last, intimate notes in sixth song “Strange Fruit,” singer-songwriter and producer Naomi Westwater’s beautiful new EP Feelings delivers just that: Feelings with a level of palpability unlike other albums provide. The topic of “Home” is less relatable, as Westwater sings specifically of her personal struggles with endometriosis and its accompanying reproductive issues. And while the second song “Feeling My Feelings” began in the same realm topically, it slowly developed into an anti-violence track. “Reflecting on the song now, I think it is also a haunting mirror to gun and police violence. It’s for those of us who feel our pain and feelings are ignored by others,” she admits.

“Commune” keeps to a slow, danceable clip, while Westwater observes her own spirituality and how it is defined in her life. Her vocals are absolutely magnetic, just like the way she leans into her own spirituality. While “Strange Weather” launches into a discussion on climate change, it does so in a beautiful and poignant way, never straying from the overarchingly soulful power of the collection. Explains Westwater:

This project felt like a storybook, like a complete collection of things that I’ve been meaning to say to the world, things I need to scream out into the void, and things that I need people to hear. These songs were all written at different times: ‘Strange Fruit’ in the 1930s, ‘Americana’ in 2012, and the others in the last few years, but the stories are so relevant to now.

Keep up with Naomi Westwater here.

Meredith Schneider