Starting off the year on the right foot with a brand new EP, London-based artist, China Bowls brings us First Light. She’s delivered a collection of four beautifully crafted tracks, here I’ll highlight the title song “First Light”. If you’re not familiar with China Bowls and are a fan of authentic alt-pop sounds with a soulful twist you must delve into her catalog. Her debut EP caught the attention of BBC Introducing, Clash, and Triple J, with First Light, set to be an even stronger follow-up. Let’s get into the music and explore “First Light” alongside its neighboring tracks. 

One of the defining qualities I noticed in my initial listening to the EP is the familiarity of China’s vocals. It’s not that she sounds particularly like anybody but I found her music quickly enjoyable as her voice feels familiar. The production of this track is gentle and dreamy it evokes a nostalgic yet comfortable feeling. With a steady beat and catchy guitar strum it’s the type of song where you move to the music while still feeling relaxed. 

The most important instrument here is China Bowls’ voice, she possesses a unique and beautifully artistic tone that carries us through the song. She’s used her range perfectly to elevate the production in a way that everything melds together seamlessly. Lyrically we’re hearing the story of escaping unhealthy patterns in relationships. China puts the concept of rose-colored glasses into words, as she highlights the behavior of clinging to the idyllic novelty of a now damaging relationship. 

Alongside “First Light” the track list contains my personal favorite “Ghost”, as well as singles “Night Owl” and “Holy”. The EP in its entirety is a very enjoyable listen from start to finish. These songs tell a story and flow nicely from one to the next. I encourage everyone to take a few moments out of their day to discover some new music starting right here with China Bowls’ First Light.