Review by Emily Fuller
I realise that I am behind the times ever so slightly with this EP being debuted back in 2016, however Riley Pearce is rare gem that stopped me in my tracks quite recently. Outside the Lines is a piece that fills you with giddiness – that urge for travel and exploration incessantly thumping at your core. Upon the initial listen, it materialises as a poetic collection for that of the wanderer’s heart, detailing a physical journey inherently tied to place and culture. However, it delves into something much more metaphysically pertinent than that, as it also presents a metaphorical exploration into something more internally reflective, such as the relationship you maintain with yourself as well as those surrounding you.
The opening track, Brave, introduces itself with this distinct clarity and a dynamic instrumental variety – seamlessly transitioning between a clean guitar chords and vivid brass instrumentals which paints the lyricism of the track with a incredible sense of worldliness both internally and externally. The disquieting of the closing of the first track fades almost instantaneously as we’re carried through a beautifully soothing interlude with 406, which bleeds nothing short of eloquent and tranquil guitar picking. The serene tone of this intermission does not last long as the pace dramatically shifts once again through the pulsating tunes of tracks such as Outside the Lines and The Long Road. With this progressive change comes an explosion of everything the heart yearns for within those desires of wanderlust, in both a physical context of travel and also with the exploration of relationships. Finally, the EP reaches a height of intensity as it draws to a close with “Circles” – giving us a sense of closure that expels seasonal warmth, which feels oh so familiar to those long summer days of eager energy and endless opportunity.
So all in all, Riley Pearce’s Outside the Lines is a debut that is incredibly rich in everything you crave as a curious voyager finding your place in the world – both physically and symbolically. It offers worldly insights into the act of launching yourself into the unknown and undiscovered, both in the sense of travelling and within your interior self. This is a must-listen if you are endlessly searching for something to inspire and nurture your deep-rooted desire for exploration and discovery – not only of the world but also of yourself.