ARTIST TO WATCH: Rachel Costanzo
Australia has some incredible unsigned hidden pop gems and one of them is Eighteen year old Rachel Costanzo. Hailing from Melbourne this songstress has been paving her way to success over the past couple of years. I first discovered this powerhouse vocalist in 2013 when listening to “Take The Night” on For Our Hero’s EP ‘Young Wolves”. She was uncredited but her vocals intrigued me and with a little bit of a search I found her along with her impressive debut single “Blindside”. Throughout the beat drops, high notes and vulnerability she held me captivated and hooked. The song’s production was on point and the lyrics perfectly described being hit unexpectedly with feelings for someone. “You hit me from my blindside, I never thought it would happen to me. You got me from my blindside, now everywhere you’re all I see”. While the song received some traction she returned to the studio to finish her self-titled debut EP which was released a year later in August 2014.
The EP’s lead single “Starlight” followed a similar formula to “Blindside” but had a heavier EDM break down reminiscent of Zedd with a less memorable hook. “Everytime I close my eyes, we’re running out into the night. We’re gonna leave it all behind, escaping in the starlight”. The song picked up some airplay from Fox FM and saw her performing live on Kids WB and ABC3 Kids as well as being featured in Dolly Magazine. “Heartbeat Two Feet” saw her tackling a more bubblegum pop focused sound citing influence from Katy Perry. It was my least favourite track on the EP but constantly grew on you with each listen of the undeniably catchy hook. The rest of the EP provided stronger pop tracks including “Invisible” which stood out with its edgier rock and EDM influence. The song featured The Voice allum Michael Paynter who was weirdly saturated in auto-tune and felt out of place and unnecessary for the song. “Will you ever know who I am, are you ever gonna give a damn. You’re all I want, yeah. Cause you never ever look my way, never given me the time of day. You’re all I want yeah, do you think that I’m invisible?” Closing out with my favourite track “Avalanche” she stripped it back to allow her raw vocal strength to take over with this beautiful piano led ballad. The five track EP was very versatile and showed many different strengths and growths of Costanzo as an artist.
It’s been a year since we last received original music from the songstress and while she’s been prepping the next release she has been dropping covers on her Facebook and YouTube page to keep the momentum that she built growing. “Miles Away” is her third single and the start of a new project. The piano ballad takes comfort in the recent success of Sam Smith. The song’s production is very simple and again just allows her vocals to leave you captivated and tell the tragic love story of long distance. “All I want to do is just hold you. Be with me tonight, don’t think about the light till it comes. And all I wanna say is how I wish you would stay and hold me. Don’t think about the end and I will just pretend that I’m okay, even if you’re miles away”. With each listen the song grows on me. I quite like this mature sound on her even though her pop/EDM tracks were and still are pure bops.
Rachel Costanzo is artist you have to keep bookmarked because she has the voice, the image, the stage presence and the songs to take her far.