“Beautiful Days” by Emma Ragen

Photo credit: Athena Burton

At only 17 years old, Emma Ragen captures a nostalgia far beyond her years in her debut EP Beautiful Days. The San Diego and New York-based singer/songwriter talks about past relationships, heartbreak and fading adolescence in this 5-song EP blooming with youth and honesty.

Ragen is a “one-man band” providing the vocals, guitar, piano and bass for each track. Just starting off in the music scene, the EP was recorded in her home by Niko Sitaras and she received help from her younger brother Tommy in writing “By the River”. Her main influences include Phoebe Bridgers, Henry Jamisen and Vacations.

When asked how she feels about the EP, Ragen says “Beautiful Days is a collection of songs that are all close to my heart.” Her grandmother says they are her favorite songs in the world. It’s clear that Ragen receives incredible familial support and believes in her talent, two wonderful ways to keep herself motivated as she embarks on this journey.

Ragen explains the meaning behind some of the songs on the EP. The title track “Beautiful Days” describes the view of the bay in San Diego, California and a beautiful girl. The third track “After Midnight” was written when Ragen was only fifteen and newly in love.   

My personal favorite is “I Knew It Was Time”, a powerful ballad where Ragen belts the chorus. She reflects on a relationship after it’s ended and takes us through its many stages in monthly intervals. The opening piano chords are lovely and the outro fades into a confessional voicemail. The storytelling aspect reminds me a lot of early Taylor Swift and Olivia Rodrigo, which shows just how far Regan can go.

Beautiful Days – EP is only the beginning, but it is overflowing with mature realizations and musicality that take it beyond just a small artist’s debut.

Reviewed by Gabriela Huselton




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