The best albums of 2022: Maura Whitman’s Introspection | Music | Halifax, Nova Scotia | THE COAST
Maura Whitman's long-awaited debut EP is one of the year's top albums.
Maura Whitman's long-awaited debut EP is one of the year's top albums.

The best albums of 2022: Maura Whitman’s Introspection

A dose of polished pop perfection moored by lyrics about real life’s messiness, for fans of Ariana Grande and Alessia Cara.

It's been a big year in local music, with countless new releases from newcomers and scene veterans alike. As we look back on 2022, The Coast is naming its top 10 albums of the year (in no particular order). Peep the full list here.

Imagine if Alessia Cara swapped some of the smoke from her voice for ocean air. Imagine if Ariana Grande mixed a bit of salt in with all that sweet. Poppy yet personal, confessional and relatable, this is Maura Whitman’s Introspection sounds like.

Whitman spent her teens writing songs in her basement after school, the way the average youth might scribble secrets in a padlocked diary. In fact, she proved early on to be anything but average: Her songwriting was so prodigious that Gordie Sampson’s legendary songwriters’ camp (an artistic retreat for Nova Scotian musicians) bent its age requirements to let her attend at 17. It was only a matter of time, then, before she’d be collaborating with the likes of Port Cities alum Breagh Isabel and Neon Dreams co-founder Cory Larue.

And while Whitman has been wearing the label of Serious Musician since age 12, it’s now—in her early 20s—that she’s finally graced us with an EP. (Blame the holdup on the fact that her time in the music industry dovetails with the pivot to single releases.)

“Been faking a smile since I was 17/ With the friends who never cared about me” Whitman sings in the first lines of album opener “Who I Am”, a dose of polished angst that calls Happier Than Ever-era Billie Eilish to mind. As the EP’s five tracks unfurl, glossy production gives a Top 40 feel—but anytime things risk skewing too anonymous, Whitman delivers the intimate-yet-existential lyrics, like on album standout “Anxiety”: “I avoided saying what was really on my mind/ Convinced myself I wasn’t even worth their time/ Cared more about the feelings that were never mine” she sings to a warbling back-beat. It’s the sound of self-discovery, self-assertion, and an artist who’s just getting started.

About The Author

Morgan Mullin

Morgan is the Arts & Entertainment Editor at The Coast, where she writes about everything from what to see and do around Halifax to profiles of the city’s creative class to larger cultural pieces. She’s been with The Coast since 2016.

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