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  • Andy Mockbee

Review: "All In My Head" - AEMS

On his October single, "All In My Head," AEMS sings as though he's whispering into your ear. "Sitting on the bed listening to your song," he opens over delicate piano chords. The song captures the singer/songwriter's talent for direct-to-the-heart confessional storytelling. His vocals are lushly double-tracked as the piano begins to pick up speed, though never losing any fragility. Then "All In My Head" builds into a spacious and full sound: reverb-soaked percussion and echoes bouncing around the mix. AEMS demonstrates his most impressive performance to date, positively soaring over the instrumentation. Just when you think the song might implode, AEMS howling at the peak, he pulls back for something in between the two extremes. As he delivers the chorus for the final time, it's as though the words start to register in his mind.

"I'm falling, but it's all in my head," AEMS sings on the chorus. Throughout the song, he contemplates what it means to experience something more devastating in your mind. Imagery is twisted towards the representational: "staring at the ceiling's replacement." AEMS uses the natural world to contrast his internal feelings of pain, powerfully remarking on the dissonance between internal and external experience. "The sun rips my heart, it's raining red," reads one of the most evocative images in the second verse. What is constricting the artist, it's never explicitly clear. Allusions to sergeants and soldiers imply a self-constriction and demanding expectations. But recognizing that these exist solely in his own mind helps to deflate their power. "When I think it will never be the same, and the tide is never gonna change, that's all in my head."

AEMS first began releasing music in 2022 with his debut single, "Vienna." The song showcased his strength in piano balladry and swelled with orchestral flair. The singer/songwriter continues to triumph with confessional, piano-based songs. "All In My Head" was written by AEMS and produced by Remy Cooper. Released in October, AEMS followed the song one month later with his most recent single, "If You Let Me." He has confirmed the release of a new song "maybe really pretty soon," though no official title or release date has been announced. Where his music is intimate and personal, AEMS keeps his life outside of his songs quite private.

Written By Andy M.



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