Sadness and humor often go hand-in-hand, and singer-songwriter Emma Oliver is a perfect example of the balance between laughter and anguish. The musician-turned popular TikToker, recently released “We Are Only a Moment,” a six-track extended play record full of sad bops and ballads.
Oliver’s TikTok — @itsemmaoliver — is a blend of her chaotic humor and beautiful vocals. Her channel features a jazz-infused acoustic cover of Smash Mouth’s “All Star,” a self-roast comparing herself to Bling-Bling Boy from the show “Johnny Test” and numerous original songs. It’s no wonder she’s nearing 500,000 followers.
While TikTok fame was a fluke, music has always been a part of Oliver’s plan. In an interview with lifestyle and culture blog UPROAR, she said, “I dropped out of college. I barely graduated high school. I’ve literally gotten fired and laid off from jobs because I did music.”
Her EP “We Are Only a Moment” opens with an ambient track of the same name, blending Oliver’s smooth vocals with ethereal synths. In the song, Oliver sings, “Please don’t say / that it’ll be fine / cause when the moment’s gone, you can’t rewind.”
Oliver swaps the opening ballad for a banger with “Do It All Again,” a song about drinking, partying and just trying to feel something. Even after passing out on the bathroom floor, Oliver knows she would, “Do it all again, even if our heartbeat stops.”
“i’m sorry, i miss you,” is another sad bop dealing with rejection and complicated emotions. A kiss at a party turns into an internal struggle as Oliver sings, “I bet you make moves like this on everyone you see / Am I just everyone to you?” The song highlights Oliver’s lower register, especially during the bridge.
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With a more laid-back tone, “Know You Better” touches on a disconnected relationship that ultimately sounds like gaslighting. Soft keyboards and acoustic strumming back up Oliver’s pleading vocals as she sings, “I wanna, I wanna, I wanna know how / You said it was perfect, but you were the problem.”
Oliver teams up with production duo loyalties for “Nightmare on Dream Street,” probably the most intense song on the record. With orchestra hits during the chorus and angry guitars during the bridge, Oliver holds nothing back, singing, “The demons out here eating / Feeding on our feelings / Keeps us from overthinking / Do you, do you trust me?”
The EP ends with “Getting Older,” a piano ballad about — well — getting older. While the project focuses on living in the moment, the moment can only last so long. Oliver sings, “Maybe I don’t understand, I’m just not as put together / Because in my mind I’m not safe and I’m only getting older / So let me put my head on your shoulder.” Distorted vocals throughout the song are reminiscent of musician Jon Bellion and his production style. It’s a strong finish to a strong project.
“We Are Only a Moment” is available on various streaming services, along with more of Oliver’s work. After giving her a listen, you can visit her TikTok to laugh away your tears.