Colorado native Laura Brehm finds herself bridging the gap between two opposite genres: indie-folk and EDM. Brehm has been featured in over 30 EDM collaborations, and her original EP, Breathe, opted for a different sound. Designed to meld Brehm’s indie-folk work with her signature EDM comes a remix EP where different DJs put their stamp on the songs. The resulting EP doesn’t take many risks, and Brehm’s lyrics sometimes find themselves lost in the production. With that said, the collection is sure to please any of Brehm’s EDM fans with its mellow beats and varied selection of remixes.
Ephixa’s remix of Parallel opens the Breathe remixes, and it’s probably the best of the short sample of tracks. The EP features seven tracks made up of four songs, and it’s likely that Parallel only got one remix because it only needed the one. Ephixa’s work is beautifully paced, well produced, and a glistening notch above the competition.
The Last Heroes & Crystal Skies Remix of titular track ‘Breathe’ is particularly effective — there’s the mellowness that permeates this EDM Remix EP, and it works wonderfully with the song’s lyrics. This EP focuses more on the production, with the original songs being reworked by DJs, and therefore it’s not surprising that the beat is what takes center stage. Last Heroes & Crystal Skies make the track their own, using Brehm’s vivid lyrics to guide the listener through a dreamy, trancelike journey.
Watgood offers a simpler approach to ‘Breathe’ on the track’s second remix, with pulsating beats and the muffled/hollow sounding vocals towards the end that you’d expect from a remix. Of the two tracks, Last Heroes & Crystal Skies make a remix that’s better for general listening, although Watgood’s remix brings to the table a good beat and sonic risks that the EP otherwise lacks, making it an interesting and enjoyable listen, too.
Ramses B manages to let Brehm’s vocals still take center stage on ‘Dance of Love,’ with this one feeling like a traditional song with EDM influences (or rather, like an EDM Remix Radio Cut.) The Faodail remix of the track is more subdued and mellow, and the two reworkings of the song offer an interesting contrast to each other. Ramses B’s mix is more danceworthy and rousing, but Faodail’s is perfect for relaxing and enjoying the experience.
The Elliot Berger remix of ‘Awake and Dreaming’ focuses primarily on its production too, with Brehm’s vocals taking a back seat again. As Berger’s beat relaxes, Brehm’s vocals move to the forefront, and the vocals and production usually only complement each other rather than being paired up. When the song’s beat goes hard, Brehm isn’t to be heard; when she is singing, the beat quiets down to let her do her thing. The AK Remix of the track follows a similar approach, albeit with more of a relaxed nature that vibes a bit better together with the vocals. Both remixes of this song push Brehm to an afterthought, but both beats are enjoyable.
Laura Brehm stepped out of her box when releasing indie-folk songs with Breathe. While the remix EP does bridge the sonic gap between her past work, it doesn’t really add anything new or exciting to the genre. The remixes are all worth a listen, but it’s likely that only Brehm’s already dedicated fanbase will get much replay value out of them.
Laura Brehm’s Breathe EP is available on iTunes. The new remixes are out now.