by Cameron Cairns
Esmeralda’s ‘Too Much’ opens with quiet and understated piano chords reminiscent of Harry Styles ‘Sign of the Times’, but listeners hoping for a similarly cathartic and uplifting ballad are set for disappointment. The self-titled alt-pop princess has released this new track in anticipation of her debut EP Medusa Was Innocent in the coming months, following on from her previous tracks, smooth glitch-pop banger Eilish-esque ‘I’m Not A Princess I’m A God’ and the sultry yet safe ‘Jenny’. On ‘Too Much’, Esmeralda bemoans the pressures of comparison to her peers and feelings of being overwhelmed, sighing that “I’m the life of the party, if the party’s in my mind”.
Despite periodic moments of beauty, the track feels overwhelmingly safe, with a predictable 80’s-esque sequenced synth bassline and high reverb drumbeat combination taking over as we approach the middle of the track, their lack of weight of heft leaving the track feeling limp and uninspired musically in places. Despite his previous work with the likes of powerhouses Charli XCX and Anne Marie, one can’t help but shake the feeling that producer BROOKFIELD has very much phoned it in here, creating the kind of throwback inspired beat that feels capable of creation in an afternoon. Esmeralda is capable of great vocals, as evidenced by her beautiful and hypnotic swelling harmonies on the chorus, but otherwise seems to subscribe to the “talk instead of sing” approach which has become overwhelmingly fashionable. Due to the lack of emotion on display, it’s just difficult to accept that she truly feels overwhelmed. Is she singing about her life feeling like it’s too much, or moaning about the price of a supermarket good? As she sings on the chorus though, she is so young and does have so much ahead of her, and one can only look with anticipation towards any album which precedes the future EP having shown signs of initial promise. It’s only up from here.