Published on March 27th, 2020 | by Rachele Liba0
Heather Rivas Reminisces About “The Way We Used To Be” In Her Latest EP- Featuring Her Own Vocals
Heather Rivas has proved that even during times of mass hysteria, it is ingrained in human nature to express yourself. In this case, Rivas has transformed inner-struggles of heartbreak into an EP, “The Way We Used To Be”, featuring her vocals for the first time. The debut of this EP provides a reminder that life isn’t always pretty- and that it’s up to you to continue to live life large. Sometimes in order to see the light, you need to know what darkness is like first.
The format of “The Way We Used To Be” showcases the various forms and stages of handling heartbreak. In collaboration with producer and longtime friend Jorge Arenas, you can feel the whirlwind of emotions evolve into playgul songs full of self-love and reflection. Filled with a dense textural soundscape, from the moment you listen to “Intro” you can feel the sunlight break through and bring warmth back into the Earth- giving life to all that is immersed and observant. The opener alone is a moment of clarity in a spiral of dark thoughts.
The rest of the Rivas’ EP provides an all-too-relatable insight on the realities of trying to make the sense of the world. “Bout Us” exposes the initial denial stage of a positive relationship ever occurring. However, as we all know, living in denial only promotes a mind-numbing perception of everything around. The gradual distortion of reality and literal sounds of the song is simulated in the music video directed by Kevin Bedford and Josh Jason. Depicting a dazed-and-confused Rivas going daily routines only to break down and scream.
While it’s easy to get caught up on the dark side, there is always a bittersweet silver lining awaiting the other side. This is demonstrated in the stark contrast between upsetting lyrics, saucy pop synths, and quirky off-beat rhythms. All brought to fruition with the help of Arenas. Embellished with playful yet aggressive sounds that branch out from traditional pop, “The Way We Used To Be” gives you a delusional sense of happiness that will keep your dystopian days moving. This sense of eventual bliss portrays the emotions evoked upon coming to terms with reality. Listeners may even find influence from indie electronic artists Still Woozy and Superorganism.
To top off Rivas’ EP is “Just Own It”; A statement single released on Valentine’s Day that allowed victims of undeserving breakups to seek refuge in a song. A break up song that promotes strength rather self-pity. In the “Just Own It” music video, directed by Kevin Bedford, Rivas storms off to the isolated deserts of California. Rivas, alongside expressive dancers, allow their bodies to unleash the energy influenced by headstrong emotions of taking control. Emphasizing the contrast between dark lyrics and bouncy synths, the musical mind is fully occupied.
As an already acclaimed touring pianist, Heather Rivas has proved the expansion of her musical identity as a singer as well. The debut of “The Way We Used To Be” is her first EP that showcases her trancelike vocals. In a previous discussion with Rivas, “What was the start of a moody song kind of changed course and ended up having a more sonically “fun” and energetic inflection to it that I think cheered us both up. I hope it can have the same effect for someone else.” Influenced by a multitude of genres and by the eclectic music scene that thrives in LA, it is apparent that Heather Rivas is an artist that will continue to push the limits no matter what.