Emily Monsen – “how we used to be”

Emily Monsen’s debut on our blog with her song “how we used to be” is a melodious journey through nostalgia and heartache, reminiscent of a blend between Stevie Nicks and Hope Sandoval. This track artfully reminisces about the brighter moments of a past relationship rather than its unresolved ending, offering a musical solace for those grappling with similar experiences.

The song opens with the sound of rain, evoking an image of Monsen looking out over a rain-drenched city, lost in memories of a relationship that ended prematurely. An acoustic guitar robustly strums the chords while a piano plays a somber, minimalist melody. Monsen’s voice, rich in vintage quality, narrates these memories, soothing the listener with a voice that fans of Nicks and Sandoval will find instantly satisfying. Her voice, slightly raspy, flows effortlessly through the melody, ascending into a delicate falsetto, both heart-wrenching and exquisitely beautiful.

At around one minute and fifteen seconds, the song intensifies as the rhythm section joins in, and hints of Fiona Apple can be discerned in Monsen’s vocals, adding another layer of depth to her sound. Subtle harmonies in the second verse enrich the production, enhancing the song’s emotional breadth. While the performance and recording quality are impeccable, the song’s exploration of the pain and confusion of reflecting on a failed relationship is deeply poignant.

“how we used to be” is a compelling piece, scoring high marks for its relatable lyrics and a performance that resonates deeply, drawing listeners back to hit replay repeatedly. Whether you’re reflecting on the past or looking ahead, this song is a beautifully crafted musical companion.