With her SAUDADE EP, you can tell Staten Island native JUSTY pushed herself to the limits of her comfort zone. There’s a clear vulnerability she’s exposing herself to – a difficult task for anyone, let alone an artist putting out their first EP. But you also hear steps being taken to grow, mature, and come out of any negative situation with a deeper sense of what life really is.

The EP opens with “God is Good, God is Great.” It’s a dive right into the spiritual and soulful with a piano beat that falls somewhere between Saturday night at the jazz club and Sunday morning in the pew. There’s a shakiness in JUSTY’s voice, but she’s not afraid to show appreciation where she sees due. Things slow down a bit on “Looking for You (In All the Wrong Places),” which has a steadier groove and a tale of unrequited love attached to it. She’s looking for her other half, and things get dark while searching, but she does her best to put on a sunny disposition to make it through the track.

“One More Try” is a bit sparse with its guitar chords and claps, but it feels bigger and heavier than the sum of its parts. Herein she addresses the subtleties of attraction and the one person who could make her fall in love again. A heavy heartbreak then follows on “Cheaters Never Win.” You can tell she’s been hurt and had to be dragged through the charade of infidelity, but she wishes the offender no harm or ill will. Quite the opposite actually, and a toned down interlude steps in.

“Make it Back,” which features Jaded, has movements where a new a streetlight is lit every time a step is taken. There’s something like a stage production going on here – hard to describe, but you’ll know what we mean when you hear it. “I’m Sorry, More than Sorry” has a feeling of lying flat on your back and drifting. An organ adds a buoyancy underneath you on a track that wears sunglasses due to its brightness, but it can’t help but think about the what-ifs and should-haves in life.

The EP ends with droplets of piano splashes that fall onto an enormous canvas. “Can’t Explain It” takes a break from the heaviness and soaks in the finer simplicities of life. She knows they’re better with someone else, but she’s coming to terms with certain situations while gaining peace about where things might be headed.

SAUDADE is available on JUSTY’s bandcamp now.