Wafia's VIII EP, out now through Future Classic, is an early highlight of 2018
The six-track EP cements Wafia's position as one of Australia's most beautiful (and meaningful) songwriters.
Over the past eight months, Wafia has confidently stood up and become one of Australia's most impactful musicians. On 83 Days, the first single from her then-unannounced new EP, the Brisbane Future Classic signee proved her status in Australia's music scene with an incredibly powerful vocal that boldly put her doubters in place. Bodies, the second tease of the EP which we were treated to close to six months ago now, was one of the most important pieces of Australian music in 2017 – powerfully telling the story of her Syrian family and their struggles with immigrating to Australia at a time where much of the country's political discourse was centered around refugees from the middle-east and the treatment of asylum seekers at Christmas Island. "The song is actually about my family," she said in a powerful interview accompanying the single's release. "They live in Syria and they've been impacted, obviously, by everything going on there... But my family's refugee status was essentially denied. I saw my mom doing paperwork, taking calls, and following up for about a year. Then, in one single letter, they were denied everything. It wasn't just one of them—it was my whole family. I saw how much that broke my mom and my family. I saw a lot of images in the media about people leaving their homes, and I just wanted to make it feel less alien."
Wafia's strive to create beautiful yet meaningful pop music continued with Only Love last month. Released at the peak of Australia's same-sex marriage discussion (and eventual passing in parliament), the single explored the cultural complexities of coming to terms with feelings for someone of the same gender for the first time, and although it joined a long list of LGBT+-empowering music to be released from Australian musicians in 2017 (Cub Sport, Alex The Astronaut and Bec Sandridge among the most impactful), Wafia's ever-beautiful vocals and the glittering, optimistic instrumental accompaniment made it stand out from the rest.
On her sophomore solo EP VIII, out today through Future Classic, Wafia's continuing endeavour to craft spectacularly written bursts of meaningful pop music only persists. Across the three final tracks (which includes a moody, Ta-Ku and Thrupence featuring interlude), Wafia explores the relatable (yet still very complex) feelings of love, conflict and change, pairing these messages with intricate musical backdrops that strengthen the at-times confronting themes explored. From the detailed and complex fourth single Breathe and the gloomy interlude which follows to the somewhat uplifting final curtain of The Ending, the final moments of Wafia's VIII EP (together with the three, previously released singles before it) is a bright moment in an otherwise slow-starting year in the music world – cementing the Brisbane songwriter as one of Australia's best while also proving that Wafia is a voice that can stand firm away from the enticing "with Ta-Ku" tagline that has seemingly brought Wafia into the public eye, not that anyone was doubting her. Listen to the full EP below.
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