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  • Giavanna Gradaille

Review: "Any Man" - Essy

When I’m asked about my dad, I tell most people he’s dead. But he’s not. He’s just dead to me – so, on a technicality I’m not completely lying. There’s numerous events that contributed to our relationship being D.O.A. over the years, but the biggest will always be his infidelity and inability to take any accountability for it. He’s never quite understood the ramifications of his actions; they don't just affect him, but the people around him as well. It took a lot of time for the direct and indirect victims of his affair to heal and recover. Essy's "Any Man" serves as a testament to this healing process.

“Any Man” is an Indie-Pop single about moving past one the deepest betrayals a person can experience: infidelity. The live recorded song details Essy’s personal experience alongside real instrumentation to capture the raw emotion that comes with this event. The song opens with a soft piano melody while our artist relays how she met the other woman her partner was seeing in the first verse. This shocking revelation is delivered with a sweet delicateness. The existence of the other woman explains why Essy couldn’t find her partner some nights in the second verse. The beginning of the third verse marks the slow introduction of the acoustic guitar as the song builds towards the chorus. Within this verse our artist remarks “To think that I loved someone / That I never knew”. It’s a heartbreaking but profound sentiment; not knowing the real person you’re committed to until their mask has been lifted. The chorus then erupts, with all the instruments involved - the guitar, drums, and piano - at full force while Essy delivers hope and a snub to the past partner. Once healed, this will be a small event from her past she can laugh about in the future while the former partner will be rendered as someone of insignificance. But having endured this has made her stronger, particularly “stronger than any man”. It also made the old her unrecognizable as we come to find in the fifth verse. But that’s okay, since she’s changed for the better due to this experience. This all leads to the powerful bridge where Essy rips into their past partner. I love the vulnerability expressed here – Essy’s anger radiates through the quickened guitar plucking before the piano comes back to shift the mood to heightened awareness. The song ends with gentle guitar strings as our artist's resilience shines through. "Any Man" shapes up to be a transformative post break-up confessional that advocates for self-love.

Rachel Braig, better known as Essy, is a singer, songwriter, and musician currently based in Nashville, TN. The artist is a self-taught pianist that began writing her own music at 11 years old. At 15, she was accepted into NYU’s Steinhardt summer program to learn and hone her talent from industry vets. The artist’s college career also saw the rise of her songwriting capabilities; she began writing for EDM artists while pursuing her degree. Essy’s early graduation would find her moving to Nashville where she’d write alongside noteworthy pop songwriters before producing her own projects in 2019. In May of 2020, she released her first EP Second Thoughts, followed by her second EP Cry For Me in April of 2021 – both exemplifying the artist’s contemplative storytelling and catchy synth rhythms. If you’ve enjoyed Essy’s sound as much as I have, show the artist some virtual love in the form of streams, likes, and follows.

Written by Giavanna Gradaille



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