Artist: Marla Mase
Producers: Tomás Doncker and James Dellatacoma for True Groove
Harrowingly confronting your inner demons as you garner the courage to battle your emotions can be a challenging proposition for many women, particularly those struggling to have their voices heard by the public. New York City singer-songwriter Marla Mase is one such vulnerable, raw performer who’s courageously showing her personal journey of finding love, and accepting herself for who she truly is, with her latest EP, ‘Half-Life.’
Mase’s feisty determination of finding and embracing inner peace as she secures love was bravely explored through the themes of overcoming trauma and oppression, and obtaining freedom, during the soul funk album. Starting with the captivating ‘Drown in Blue,’ the EP shows the performer’s determination to overcome her broken heart to obtain the life she wants and deserves. Mase emotionally sings about not feeling as secure as she once thought she was, but being determined to find the will to improve her self-confidence and worthiness of finding love.
While Mase bravely carries out her provocative, raw performance throughout the entire EP, as she effortlessly infuses her diverse songs and genres with intellectual lyrics, the most entrancing songs include the title track, as well as ‘Gaping Hole’ and the closing number, ‘Hold Fast Your Dreams.’ With ‘Half-Life,’ the second song on the album, Mase instantly becomes comfortable and genuine in revealing her thoughts and secrets to her fans. Her soothing lyrics reveal that she knows that not all love can last forever, and she’s struggling with the fear of the pain she would endure if her relationship ends. But relatably embracing the fact that she has finally realized what she wants in her connections is an endearing message that’s infused into the powerful, memorable song.
The captivating songstress also celebrated the raw reality of the human condition in the distinctive ‘Gaping Hole.’ Mase also emphasized the struggle of trying to mend her broken heart, but isn’t sure if she has the necessary emotions to truly embrace true love. The EP comes full circle with its most revealing and noteworthy entry, ‘Hold Fast Your Dreams,’ which was inspired by the poem of the same name by Louise Driscoll. The gripping lyrics powerfully encourage listeners to not give up on their own aspirations, desires and most importantly, themselves. It smartly reveals that people truly grow when they break down their own barriers, and learn to rely on their own independence to get what they want in life.
The musician not only infused ‘Half-Life’ with inspiring and riveting messages and lyrics, but she also added enthralling instrumentals that deserve attention, including alternative and classic rock, punk and soul music that gives her a modern edge. From the heart-pounding guitar introduction from Tomás Doncker and James Dellatacoma on the opening song, ‘Drown in Blue,’ to Mike Faulkner’s mellowing drums on ‘Half-Life’ and the riveting bass on ‘The Heart Beats’ by Bill Laswell, the EP has a distinctive instrumental sound that powerfully supports Mase’s unique and gritty voice.
The powerful performer, who has won several accolades, including an honorary Messenger of Peace award by Friends of the UN for her work as a visionary artist/songwriter, impressively proved her talent as a modernly relatable, vital entertainer, with ‘Half-Life.’ She pioneered the desire to be validated by securing love by those who know her the best, but not wanting to force the emotion on someone who doesn’t genuinely feel that intensity for her. Mase also enthrallingly embraces the need to find and hold onto her own identity and independence as she strives to stay strong during times when she is experiencing heartbreak and despair. With the help of continuously diverse and unique instrumentals throughout the record, Mase champions the raw reality of the human condition of needing love and support, but also knowing when it’s safe to truly venture out on your own.
Written by: Karen Benardello