Laura’s songs bring to life several characters that all just happen to share her beautiful and soulful voice.

The summer of 2017 saw Laura Reznek, a familiar name to the Go out of Tune crowd, return to Canada to record her long-awaited EP, Now Who Owns The Night. As you will hear from this superb collection of songs, Laura doesn’t do anything by halves. In addition to recording the EP she went on to co-found a record label – not bad going if you ask me! The EP was recorded trans-Atlantically, with input from some of her London-based collaborators (affectionately known as Rezonators). As with her previous release, Laura’s songs bring to life several characters that all just happen to share her beautiful and soulful voice. It's a bewildering illusion to hear her morph into these distinct narrators throughout the EP.

The opening track, Tall Grass, is a melancholic and mysterious song that alludes to longing and escape. Listen closely and you might also hear a hint of vengeful passion. The lyrics are stark, enigmatic and engaging, and this could easily be the soundtrack to the next Nordic crime noir.

The next track, Behave, Be Kind, bears the name of its message, and follows the passing down of lessons from one generation to another. The song’s narrator appears to be telling the listener that we’d do well to heed this simple advice. The music undulates, lyrics following suit for the most part, but the song’s message rises and cuts through, and my ears prick up. At this point it feels as though the narrator is remembering the lessons handed down from their own elders in years long past.

The way Laura’s fingers flicker across the piano keys whilst the strings melt underneath in the next track, Up at Night, feels like an accurate representation of the otherworldly sensation that arises from pushing through tiredness, staying up far too late and entering a state of shifted perspective. Questions you might not ask in the light of day take on new significance and pondering on their answers bring about a strange kind of clarity, bordering on prescience. Up at Night left me overtaken by suppressed memories of trying to finish my dissertation through the all-too-short nights before the looming deadline. This song is stirringly beautiful, however, rather than disturbingly traumatic.

The penultimate track, Crickets, has an accompanying GOOT-produced video, which you can see below.

Laura Reznek | Crickets (Music Video)

Crickets is pleasantly haunting and subtly hypnotic. A compelling ebb and flow in the rhythm lulls me under, but I’m jolted back to consciousness at the sound of gently plucked strings that tip-toe around the chorus.

The sound of crickets (or grasshoppers for our UK readers) chirruping has long been used by Hollywood to convey a sense of wilderness; it represents the sound you can hear when there is nothing else to be heard. (Ok, it can also be used to highlight nobody laughing at a bad joke, like the grasshopper thing two lines above, but this is all getting a bit too meta-textual) In this song the crickets are now gone and it seems to indicate incongruity between feeling isolated and at peace with oneself. It is a peculiar melancholy that I felt upon first hearing the song but couldn’t really identify without mulling it over for a while.

All too soon Now Who Owns The Night reaches its finale. The live performance of High Water has long been a favourite of mine, and Laura presents this just as I know it to be performed. It’s a beautiful song about love, determination and carrying on against all odds. Expertly chosen to close the EP, this song feels part lull-a-bye, part anthem, and leaves me feeling as if I’ve been simultaneously punched in the gut and warmly embraced. This is a true demonstration of how powerful music can be. GOOT was lucky to have Laura Reznek performing a live session of High Water, which you can see below.

Laura Reznek | High Water (Live Session)

Now Who Owns The Night bears a mark of self-confidence, holding exactly what it needs, with no frills or filler. It remains far from simplistic, however. Laura Reznek has crafted an EP that commands not only attention but thought and investment from the listener. The songs pose questions, and the answers are only found through a back and forth between Laura and her audience.