On June 12th, Ben Limpic is releasing a new EP entitled Issabelle. The six-track collection of songs feels like the soundtrack to a sun-drenched afternoon in Malibu or a mid-summer stroll along the boardwalk in your favorite beach town. Indeed, Limpic, who hails from San Diego, has put forth a great EP for the summer. Limpic’s vocals underscore each song on the album, while shimmering guitar and driving drums supplement his leads at each step along the way. Overall, the record feels cohesive, with each song finding its place within the EP.
The debut track “Cumberland” is perhaps my favorite on the album: the guitar melodies and the somewhat detached perspective of the vocalist feels calming. It is a song that would be great on a languid summer afternoon. Other songs on the record I particularly enjoyed were “Love Don’t Want Me, and “Your Heart Is A Piece Of Paper.” Indeed, “Love Don’t Want Me” is a more contemplative song than some of the others on the record. In terms of instrumentation, the song opens with a simple acoustic guitar pattern, lead vocals, and bass guitar alongside dreamy synth keys. Overall, the song feels fairly nostalgic and reminiscing as Limpic sings, “What would you say if I tried to love you still?” At times, it was difficult to understand Limpic’s message when his delivery became particularly shrill in the final chorus, but the overarching sentiment was still appealing.
In the case of “Your Heart Is A Piece Of Paper,” I felt that Limpic’s underlying message was relatable and interesting. Across the song, he sings about the various forms of heartbreak you may undergo as a young person. The chorus in particular was decent with its metaphorical allusions. In it, Limpic sings, “Your heart is a piece of paper / it gets torn up / then it’s folded into shapes you didn’t want.” This song is indicative of Limpic’s sound in general. His instrumentation is often laid-back and leisurely—in a calming sense—but his lyrics often confront deep, emotional experiences that have shaped his adolescence and young adulthood. What’s more, he can relate these stories to a listener’s life. Take the eponymous song “Issabelle” for example. In it, Limpic’s narrator discusses his personal challenges and some of the difficulties of life under quarantine. Limpic sings, “It’s hard to be in quarantine / when all your friends can use responsibly / staring straight at the wall / waiting for paint to peel off.” The image Limpic paints is bleak but honest. Many Americans have felt the difficulty of managing drinking and mental health during this crisis, which has isolated many of us from family units and social support systems. Limpic confronts the challenges of maintaining optimism and sound health routines throughout the song, and ultimately the hook hinges on his feeling that during this time loving yourself and your own life can be hard. My favorite line in the song is probably “big dreams outside of the box / are still encircled by containment walls.” Indeed, it’s a hard period for creative people to realize their ambitions and for musicians to continue to pursue their musical goals. However, Limpic’s new EP shows that he is managing these challenges well. When it is released on June 12th, we hope you’ll give it a listen—it’s well worth it!
Written by Brennan White