Leave’s two song EP Jeremiah|Carolina is a dichotomous venture highlighting the opposing voices of Emma Citrine and David Knights Cowling against a backdrop of complex sound. Jeremiah|Carolina is the band’s first release since their 2015 full length album Allow to Remain, and it is the band’s first release as a quartet, despite new members Nicole Gilley and Bryan Michael not actually playing on the album. Instead, drummer Jeremiah Ackerman, along with Citrine and Cowling, make up the personnel for this release.
The first track, “Jeremiah,” features vocals by Citrine reminiscent of Daughter’s Elena Tonra. The song begins with an ethereal introduction combining a strong drum beat, melancholic guitar and subtle harmonies for a dreamy layered sound. What appears as a beautiful indie-folk tune sees an unexpected shift to a more intense and haunting sound around the three-minute mark, building to a repeat of the catchy yet profound refrain “I’ve lost it all now / I’m not enough / You brought me back home / You filled my cup / With good intentions / I’m holding on / To where you brought us / I’m not alone now.” The track concludes the way it started: soft and light like lavender, yet one feels that they’ve been on a journey
“Carolina” features the vocals of Cowling and delves deeper into a more dissonant soundscape that “Jeremiah” only hinted at. The shadowy-feeling and more experimental half of the EP offers listeners the National vibes featuring abrupt yet effective sounds. Engineered by Cowling (and produced by Citrine and Cowling), “Carolina” testifies to the promise to not “prioritize loudness, but instead…space, depth, and timbres” that is written on Cowling’s website. This shorter track (less than four minutes, versus almost six-minutes for “Jeremiah”) has instrumental depth and highlights Cowling’s voice while keeping his vocal levels low, which intensifies the feeling of the track overall.
“Jeremiah” is an outstanding track and “Carolina” complements it and emphasizes the experimental side of the band. Because the tracks are so different from one another, it leaves listeners wondering which direction Leave would take a full album. As a whole, the EP combines rich instrumentation with two well-suited voices creating a comprehensive sound that would be excellent live.