To create music that can be a message of hope, strength and power isn’t something that can always be accomplished or done correctly.
However, Sherri Anne, the vocalist and guitarist of the band Sister Speak, along with bandmates, Sarven Manguiat, Avli Avliav and several guests members, manage to create an EP that focuses on personal freedom, empowerment and self-value, particularly for women. The Stand is an indie-pop EP that with each track, regardless of gender, will you leave with a sense of liberation and enjoyment.
“New York Sunrise” is appropriately titled, as it is the first track to start off the EP. It begins with a sophisticated piano piece that is both calm and endearing. However, as the song progress, we start to hear Anne’s stark vocals, along with other instruments such as the violin and the drums. Eventually, the track itself explodes into a powerful message of the future. Toward the end of the track, instead of words being sung, Anne’s starts to screams, leaving a track that will surely strike a chord in your heart.
What follows afterward is “Fighter.” Similar to “New York Sunrise,” it begins to the sound of the piano and eventually builds up into something bigger with other instruments added to the mix, such as the drums and the violin. However, for this track, as odd as it sounds, the music is not the main course, but rather its lyrical content. “You can’t hit me when I’m gone, I’m a fighter from my head to the ground, I’m a fighter, ” the song sends out a message of strength and self-value.
“Do You Believe” is the third track of the EP. While the first two tracks of the album have more of a serious and independent undertone to them, “Do You Believe” has more of an upbeat and commercial feel to it. The musical direction of the track is different as well. While “Fighter” and “New York Sunrise” were more “organic,” “Do You Believe” delves into an electronic ambiance, yet it still maintains the message of being optimistic.
Up next is the titular track of the EP, “The Stand.” Rather than starting off with the piano like the previous songs, “The Stand” begins with the strums of the acoustic guitar and the somber, but gentle vocals of Anne. Comparably to the previous tracks, the instruments of the drums, the electric guitar and others do eventually join in, but it is the start of the song, the isolation of vocals and the mesmerizing guitar strums that suck you in. With obvious grunge influence, particularly for Nirvana, as the lyrics show, “Come as you are,” it is no wonder why The Stand is the EP’s standout track.
“Walls” is the fifth track of the EP. Similar to Coldplay’s “Clocks,” Walls gives a vibe of alternative rock, psychedelic rock and pop rock, all rolled into. Much alike to the previous tracks before it, the song begins with a piano and once again, builds off from it, with other instrument added to the song, giving it pop-rock energy to it.
The bonus track of the EP is “Catch Me As I Fall,” featuring Tolan Shaw. Completely different from the other tracks, where Anne would be the only vocalist, “Catch Me As I Fall” is a duet, with only the acoustic guitar being the sole instrument. Rather than being focused on female empowerment, its theme is on love, acceptance, and reliance, thus it ends the EP, however not with a bang, but rather with simple affections.
Overall, The Stand is an EP that is worth a listen or two, as lyrics behind it send out a message of hope, empowerment and self-value and the music captures your attention. It does not come off as preachy but rather from goodwill. The Stand deserves a standing ovation for both its lyrical and musical content.