In an era where cash is king and the forever mood is to be unbothered by anything or anyone, Savannah Ré’s heart-tugging debut EP Opia comes as a refreshing change of pace and show of honesty.
Savannah told Del Cowie in a Complex article that she came across the word ‘opia’ in The Book of Obscure Sorrows which defines it as, “the ambiguous intensity of looking someone in the eye, which can feel simultaneously invasive and vulnerable.” From start to finish, Savannah speaks to this experience in a soulful and unique way.
As someone who is currently learning to be vulnerable in my relationships, I couldn’t help but connect deeply with Savannah’s choice lyrics and heartfelt vocals on this project. With so much of the world effectively on lockdown for the second time over the past nine months, there has been nothing but time to spend with our loved ones and examine our relationships with them. Being forced to spend extended time alone with each other brings about a level of vulnerability and intimacy that some of us have mostly evaded.
Using frank lyricism, ethereal melodies and a sprinkling of hard-hitting drums and trap soul sounds, Savannah presents her own form of Opia. Executive produced by Grammy-winning Boi-1da and hit producer YogiTheProducer, who also happens to Savannah’s husband, Opia explores love, truth and intimacy in a way that reveals the beauty in practising vulnerability.
At the top of the project, Savannah’s assured voice takes the stage atop a synthesized piano melody on “Highly Favoured” where she sings, “I’m blessed, I don’t have much, I usually learn the hard way. Gotta count my blessings, highly favoured.” These lyrics and the general theme of this song resonated with my own journey with my spirituality and how love strengthened my spirituality and gratitude for each morning that I get to wake up and see the sunrise. The song isn’t very long but its impact is still felt.
Throughout the project, Savannah showcases her versatility and pure talent with a mix of emotion-stirring ballads and sensual songs…
Following “Highly Favoured” is the stellar Boi-1da and Allen Ritter produced “Where You Are.” The track navigates what it’s like being in a long-distance relationship and shows off more of Savannah’s vocal range over a trippy infectious beat. Being in a long-distance relationship myself, I really connected with this song.
Throughout the project, Savannah showcases her versatility and pure talent with a mix of emotion-stirring ballads and sensual songs like “Sacred” and “Nothing Into Something.” At times, Savannah is serving up ultimatums on the catchy up-tempo bop “Love Me Back” and then keeping it real with a fling turned crush on “Homies.”
My favourite song on the project is “Solid.” Savannah’s vocal ability is on full display and the lyrics are so relatable to those taking the next step in a new romance that you can’t help but feel something when she sings out, “I need you to be solid. Promise, promise that you won’t bend or break. Promise to me that you’ll stay.” It takes a certain level of honesty and bravery to ask someone to promise that they’ll remain solid with you. It means admitting that you genuinely want them to be there with you and it leaves the floor open for that person to possibly reject your plea. And many of us are often too afraid of being rejected to put ourselves and our desires out there like that.
Closing out the EP is the title track, “Opia” and the uplifting bonus “Best Is Yet To Come.” The title track opens with a spoken word poem that discusses the fear involved with loving and letting others truly love us before Savannah’s voice seeps in gently singing, “If I let you see me, would we make it? Hate being naked.” A song that moved me to tears and pressed on the bruise of my fears of letting my love see me naked, metaphorically speaking. By the chorus, Savannah is gently crooning out the simple but profound lyrics “I’m scared… so scared.” It’s one of the most beautiful songs on her debut and shows the kind of intimacy that can’t be turned away from.
Opia was a stunning sound experience that helped validate and put music to the range of emotions I’ve experienced while learning to be vulnerable in my personal life. It was a sonic diary entry written by the hands of another and, man, what a beautiful entry it was.