Great Wave will transport you to an open mic night at a coffee shop. The room will be reverberating with an intense energy that can only be the result of female friendship. It will be entirely silent and everyone will be on the edge of their seat, eager not to miss a single note. One stage are Emily Persich and Carmen Pizarro, two 18-year old women from Toronto, Ontario. With soulful passion and bluesy ease they will remind you of the pain and heartache that accompany young love and desire.
The five-track EP Swim Deep by the duo Great Wave defines acoustic simplicity. The chord progressions and notes remain relatively steady and uncomplicated. Their guitars create a platform for their voices and lyrics. They sing about wanting to be wanted, rejection and infatuation. Persich and Pizarro sing with distinct personalities. Their voices are incredibly different, which is perhaps why they work so well together. It’s Amy Winehouse meets Norah Jones. Aimee Mann meets Joan Baez.
Persich and Pizarro differ from these (made up) duos in that they sing with a noticeable familiarity and friendship, yet they maintain distinct styles. They know each other’s voices and know how to manipulate their own voices in order to best match the other.
Neither takes center-stage or overpowers the other. They work together to create their sound. Even when only one sings, the other has created a perfect avenue for the solo voice.
They have been playing together since 2013. It isn’t rare for musicians to have played together for many years. However, I believe a certain magical quality occurs when musicians learn to play together during their formative adolescent years when music acts as a true lifeline. I admit, I have a particular soft spot for young women making beautiful acoustic music. Given that bias, this music remains unarguably wonderful.
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