REVIEW: Rachel Chinouriri Impresses with EP Better Off Without

Featured Photo Credit: Martina Martian

Indie-pop artist Rachel Chinouriri released her newest EP, Better Off Without, on May 20. The EP follows Chinouriri’s debut album Four° In Winter and chronicles Chinouriri’s emotions upon ending a five year relationship. 

Over the span of four songs, Chinouriri examines the dichotomy that occurs at the end of a long-term relationship as she looks backwards with nostalgia and forwards into her future. The EP defines heartbreak and acceptance, reflection and letting go, and the uncertainty that comes with losing a constant piece of your life. 

Stand out track “All I Ever Asked” provides a strong start to the EP, as Chinouriri airs her frustrations in love, singing “Just a little more time, was it really that hard to do? It was all I ever asked of you.” Her powerful lyricism is complemented by an effervescent, richly layered sound and a catchy hook. 

Chinouriri continues her whimsical style in second track, “Happy Ending,” which she released with an accompanying music video. The video features Chinouriri and a male co-star in a beautiful field, their portrayal gradually changing from lovebirds to a couple at their breaking point. In this song, Chinouriri both grieves the happy ending she lost and accepts that she has fallen out of love. The song adds various instrumental elements in a smooth build to each chorus as Chinouriri’s voice grows in power. 

In the third track on the album, “Better Off Without,” Chinouriri slows down to feature a laid back groove. Each chorus fills with dreamy harmonies, and the softness of this smooth track is supplemented by the instrumental riffs between each chorus and verse. 

“Fall Right Out of Love” provides a reflective close to the EP. The track begins with an alluring guitar riff, and in her signature style, Chinouriri gradually lets the track build harmonically. This track remains mellow, allowing the lyricism to shine through as Chinouriri sings, “If I don’t leave now, then maybe we will fall right out of love.” With these lyrics, Chinouriri ends her EP with the choice to end her relationship, signifying acceptance and providing a hopeful end to a musically layered and well written EP.