Singer/songwriter Lydia Kennie invites listeners to join her on her post-breakup journey, with all of its twists and tumbles, in her second EP release, Alone. With a run-time right around the 14-minute mark, this four-song acoustic EP features soft-spoken vocals that relay all of the emotions, from the initial pain of realizations along the way to final acceptance and release. Alone is underpinned by melancholy tones, as one can expect from songs written out of a relationship ending. Bittersweet guitar melodies and gentle vocal harmonies create an atmosphere that feels comforting and all-too-familiar for those who can relate. By the time the journey draws to a close, the experience feels like a shared intimate moment with a dear friend.
Lydia Kennie is a singer and songwriter originally from Palo Alto, California who now resides in New York City. Growing up, she loved seeing her dad’s all-dad band The Wildcats perform at local events and was inspired by music at a young age through her many years of dance training. She began writing songs in her freshman dorm room at the University of Michigan and now doesn’t plan to ever stop. Since Lydia started releasing songs in February of 2021, she has put out ten songs as well as her first EP titled Signs of Aging, and recently released her second EP, Alone, in February of 2022.
“All Falls Down” leans heavily into a mellow soundscape that sweeps behind the central theme of disillusionment, bringing to mind waves that mirror those within the opening lyrics. The message deals with the feelings of grandeur that you get in a relationship, the feeling of being lost behind rose-colored glasses, and subsequently, how it feels when the crash after everything you’ve put time and effort into finally comes. Even with the heartbreaking realizations Lydia comes to through the course of the track, she maintains a delicate peacefulness to her vocals, indicating that she is more hurt than angry, reflective of the disappointment that serves as the anchor for this opening track.
The title track, “Alone,” begins with a similar soundscape as the previous track but quickly shifts to more of an upbeat energy while dealing with some not-so-upbeat feelings of being stuck despite trying to progress. The instrumental arrangement and quickened tempo are reflective of the anxiety-ridden nature of being in this stage of a relationship ending: trying to find comfort and not feel so alone, but also not wanting to get close to an ex simply because they are what feels comfortable. Listeners can hear this back-and-forth internal conflict in the lyrics as well as the rises and falls in the vocals. “Alone” certainly has tumultuous aspects about it, yet that constant thread of calm prevails.
Listeners experience a notable shift into the somber with “Collateral Damage.” While the spirit of the tracklist through this has still been of the melancholy and heartbroken nature, there is a distinct sadness found within the vocals that is backed by an almost-orchestral instrumental. Within the lyrics, we hear Lydia acknowledge just how much of herself she lost to this relationship, but we also hear that she is unwilling to lose anymore of herself so she begins to set the internal boundaries she needs to move on and put herself first. Delicate harmonies flow above soothing guitar strings, enhancing the painful expeirence that is recounted, tugging on heartstrings and evoking those same emotions within anyone who has been in a similar situation.
Lydia chooses to close the EP with a live recording of “Seams,” bringing a renewed sense of rawness to an already vulnerable showcase of introspective thoughts and recollections of a heartbreak. Given that it is the final song, there is an expected sense of strength in finding closure intertwined with the mellow acoustics. Even though Lydia mentions how difficult it is for her to keep her composure when she’s still hurting, she also has come to a new stage of grieving the relationship – acceptance. She’s no longer looking for comfort from her ex because things don’t feel the way they used to, and she maintains her ground even when her ex tries to come back, which is a difficult thing to do. But she has to do what’s best for her and that is to release this relationship and start a new chapter in her life.
Even though her career is just around a year old, Lydia Kennie is already showing that she has what it takes to be a relatable artist that listeners can find comfort in when they need it the most.