When I hit play on Beneath the Surface, the debut EP from December Baby, I was instantly struck by her beautiful, delicate voice. However, as I listened closely to this five-track collection I found so much more to appreciate.

December Baby’s music is folky with an accessible pop sensibility. Think Aimee Mann, Sarah Bareilles, and Feist, all artists that December Baby proudly cites as influences. But she’s got her own stories to tell, and she tells them beautifully through these songs.

The opener “You’re My Rock” is impossible to dislike, an upbeat declaration of love. It doesn’t break any new ground, but it’s a lot of fun. I felt the longing in “If You’d Only,” a sweet song about promising the earth to an object of affection. “Jimmy Choos,” with its bitey lyrics savaging “mean, shallow girls,” is the standout for me. I love the way December Baby’s sweet vocals and the upbeat melody juxtapose with the cutting words. There’s a dramatic flair in “This Way” that really appeals to me. “Not Okay” is beautiful in its honesty. It’s probably the most ambitious track on the EP, with blues passages, poppier moments, and stripped back movements all sitting side by side. The transitions aren’t always seamless, but its fearlessness makes a strong statement at the end of this EP.

On a casual listen, December Baby’s music is poppy and pleasant. However, tune into the lyrics and as the EP’s name suggests, there’s a lot more going on beneath the surface.

Beneath the Surface is released today and available from iTunes. December Baby will announce concerts to celebrate the EP’s release soon.

Image used with permission from December Baby