Final Rating: 7/10
Canadian singer/songwriter Sykamore released her 6 track EP, Self + Medicine, on January 5th. Sykamore, also known as Jordan Ostrom, hasn’t released a collection of songs since her debut album, Petal, in 2013. Her goal with this EP was to challenge herself and show how much she has grown and developed since her last album release. Ostrom already has quite an impressive past, she has won many competitions including Project Wild and the ATB All-Albertan song writing contest. It’s no surprise she is where she is today.
Ostroms EP is full of love and heartbreak and takes you on a journey through all those feelings that come along with it. The EP starts off with the song “We Were Alright” which begins with a happy beat that you can’t help but tap your foot to. The song is about looking back on the good times with someone who had left her. Ostroms voice over the catchy beat makes it the type of song you belt out to when you’re alone in the car. “Playing The Fool” is the second track on the EP which has a bitter-sweet feel to it. Ostrom sings of missing someone so much you just want one last night with them no matter what they’ve done in the past. For being a sad song it has quite an upbeat tempo.
The third track, “Hayloft”, is my favourite track on the EP. It’s a very feel-good song about having an escape. “Hayloft” has quite a Taylor Swift vibe to it, Ostroms voice sounds exactly like Swifts and the music style is similar. Ostrom sings of finding her escape in a place out back in the Hayloft with a boy and the sound of the song is very soothing and calming I think fans can find an escape with this song as well.
The fourth and fifth tracks, “Better Half” and “Houseboat” were both singles that were released before the EP came out. “Better Half” is the only song Ostrom didn’t write alone, it was co-written with Nashville’s April Greensbreght and Jason Massey. “Better Half” definitely has more of a pop feel to it than the rest of her songs and that sound was inspired by Shania Twain, who is one of Ostroms biggest influences along with The Dixie Chicks. Ostrom spoke about her idol in an interview saying “she wanted to include pop influences but she wanted to be a country artist and it was unheard of at the time, but she forged the path for the rest of us.” This shows us where her little burst of pop sound came from.
The last song on the EP is called “Dance Card”. It’s an upbeat, fun song about finally getting rid of a guy who just wasn’t good for her. Something I really like on this song is first, the great guitar riff at the end and second, also at the end of the song someone yells out “take that, all you hillbillies!” who turned out to actually be drummer Chad Cromwell and obviously he said that not thinking it was going to make the final cut but when Ostrom heard it over the demo she said “it was just so funny and not rehearsed,” and next thing you know she told them to keep it in cause she liked it so much.
This EP, even though there are some songs about heartbreak, is quite a feel good collection of songs. Ostroms voice is so amazing and smooth in each song it gives you chills and you can’t help but sing along with her. She is an amazing up and coming artist and we’re going to see amazing things from her in the years to come.