Erin Côté’s Cheeky Saint Review

Photo Credit: ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’ cover art

Artist: Erin Côté; Keith Burchnall: Piano and guitar

Release: ‘Cheeky Saint’ EP; Release Date: December 20, 2021; Producer: Burchnall

Being completely unfiltered and vulnerable in their lyrics is one of the most tantalizing ways that musicians can capture the attention of their listeners. Vancouver-based folk singer-songwriter, Erin Côté effortlessly proves what an engaging musician she is with her refreshingly honest four-track EP, ‘Cheeky Saint.’

Each of the entries on the pop-jazz album explore relatable life experiences through the singer’s commanding vocals, unique cutting wit in her lyrics and stellar production value that amplifies the instrumentals’ emotional arcs. But each tune also has its own unique theme and vocal and instrumental arrangements that make them unique and stand out for their own distinct reasons.

‘Cheeky Saint’ begins with its notable, relatable single, ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,’ as Côté croons about the drastic changes she’s endured in her personality since her former boyfriend ended their relationship. Driven by stimulating lyrical perspective, she emotionally professes how her ex-boyfriend showed her how to become over dramatic about the things she doesn’t agree with in her life, particularly ending their relationship. Driven by eccentric, frenetic harmonies, the lyrics also reveal how she feels frantic over not being able to reconnect with him

The charismatic pop song’s edgy, sulky vocals are also set against a minimalistic orchestral pop instrumentation that has a distinctly haunting, edgy vibe, as well as an inventive pop production. Overall, ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’ conveys the intense, unbalanced emotional status quo of a reckless dynamism and a toxic relationship between the musician and her former lover.

‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’ is followed by the record’s sophomore track, ‘Stranger on the Skytrain,’ which proves that Côté can be just as fun and hopeful as she is distraught over the end of her romantic relationship. She penned the lyrics after she spent years making quick and effortless, yet equally meaningful, connections with the titular strangers on the Skytrain in her home city in Canada.

The tune features intriguing guitar strumming that’s interwoven with people talking in the background on the eponymous train. Set against an upbeat tempo, the singer croons about how people like to find connections wherever they go and discuss their lives.

‘Cheeky Saint’ begins to wind down with its much heavier penultimate entry, ‘Diamonds and Gold,’ on which Côté croons about how people can lose themselves in greed. Fueled by brazen, adventurous horns, the song’s narrative chronicles how a woman may appear as though she’s living a life that’s envied by other people, as she has accumulated all the material belongings she wants. However, they no longer satisfy or comfort her soul. She instead has to inspect her life and consider whether the man she’s romantically involved with truly makes her happy with all of the luxurious titular diamonds and gold, or if she wants to find meaning somewhere else in her life.

The musician’s EP ends with the emotionally gripping entry, ‘Moon Madness,’ which shows her versatility as a musician by forgoing the pop production value and instead focusing instead on strumming an acoustic guitar. The track chronicles how Côté still misses the one who got away, but she couldn’t commit to him because of her youth and lack of experience. While she has searched for so long to get him off of her mind, she still wants to wake up next to him. Despite the longing she still has for him in her heart, she reveals that she has accepted that they’re not meant to be together.

Being completely unfiltered and sentimental, in their lyrics is one of the most alluring ways that musicians can capture the attention of their listeners. Côté effortlessly proves what an engaging singer-songwriter she is in that sense with all four entries on the emotionally relatable ‘Cheeky Saint.’

Each of the tunes on the pop-folk-jazz album explore relatable life experiences through the crooner’s commanding vocals, unique cutting wit in her lyrics and stellar production value and instrumentals. From ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,’ which explores the drastic changes in her personality since her relationship ended, to ‘Moon Madness,’ which highlights her finally accepting that her romance can’t be revived, Côté proves that she’s a versatile singer-songwriter who has the potential to rise to the top of the charts.

For more information on Côté, visit her Spotify, iTunes and YouTube pages.

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