Singer: Joel Havea

EP: String & Woods

Production: Simon Grey & Joel Havea (Nasty Research Centre Hamburg)

Soulfully and passionately exploring the emotional solutions to the impeding obstacles that are sure to hold you back, most notably in romantic relationships, can be a challenging aspect in life. But singer-songwriter Joel Havea, a skilled and resourceful musician from the cultural capital of Melbourne, Australia, who now resides in the versatile city of Hamberg, Germany, powerfully developed his own mix of soul and reggae infused lyrics and instrumentals in his new EP, ‘String & Woods,’ to more readily find those solutions.

In the wake of his well-received debut album, 2012’s ‘You Make Me Believe,’ Havea’s new acoustic EP skillfully uses guitar, percussion and double bass to implement an enthralling sound that’s the perfect example of his dynamic live acoustic performances. ‘String & Woods’ starts off with its most captivating soulful song, ‘Going Gone.’ The musical entry instantly draws listeners in with the musician’s enticing acoustic guitar introduction that is just as expressive as Jack Johnson’s signature sound. The song is becomes emotionally fueled by Havea’s relatable telling of the hurt he felt by someone close to him, even though its infliction came as no surprise. In the powerful and emotional anthem, the singer declares his new-found energy to move on with his life, and not wanting to waste anymore time on the person who hurt him, who is sure to get what they deserve.

The other emotionally driven and grand song on ‘String & Woods’ is ‘My Wings,’ which instantly and uniquely changes the mood of the EP with its passionate and dark guitar introduction. Havea commands the message that its important everyone supports themselves in their time of need as they grow and mature past the pain they have experienced. The song is a gripping, memorable declaration of not allowing, or blaming, anyone else for holding them back from what they truly want to experience and achieve in life.

The other diverse and commanding songs on ‘String & Woods’ also emphasize the importance of moving pas the negative aspects of life to focus on what truly matters and is important. The gentle guitars on the song ‘Simple Things’ support the powerful but understated lyrics about striving to make life worthwhile. Havea also shows his commanding range of voice in the reggae-fueled ‘Going Through The Motions,’ in which he realizes he wants to improve himself. He captivatingly professes that not truly embracing life and what you want isn’t the best way to live.

The EP’s intriguing last song, ‘Fading Away,’ which alluring captures listeners’ attention with its soulful guitar, isn’t just another song that explores the uneven dynamics in relationships. It also offers a personal and telling glimpse into how people at times feel like their own distinct personality fades when they’re in a relationship. So it implores people to truly accept who they are, no matter what type of relationship they’re in.

Soulfully embracing your true emotions and feelings about the way a person treats you in a passionate, yet turbulent relationship, can be a challenging task for many people. But the versatile and talented Havea, who proved his musical skills in the powerful ‘String & Woods,’ which is now available, wasn’t afraid to openly express his discontent about moving past the negative aspects and relationships in life that were only holding him back. While some people are afraid of letting go of the past, the passionate singing and instrumentals throughout the endearing EP prove that truly moving on in your life can be the best option.

For more information on Have and ‘String & Woods,’ visit the singer’s official website, as well as his Facebook and Twitter pages.

Joel Havea's String & Woods EP Review

Written by: Karen Benardello

By Karen Benardello

As a graduate of LIU Post with a B.F.A in Journalism, Print and Electronic, Karen Benardello serves as ShockYa's Senior Movies & Television Editor. Her duties include interviewing filmmakers and musicians, and scribing movie, television and music reviews and news articles. As a New York City-area based journalist, she's a member of the guilds, New York Film Critics Online and the Women Film Critics Circle.

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