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ep review: in the sky

After hitting the ground running with a successful first EP in 2016, the 19-year-old break out to the electronic scene, Mallrat, strikes again with another solid EP released earlier this June. The Brisbane native flourished in her musical career in her last few years of high school by making connections with the fellow rising producer Tigerella. Ever since then, Mallrat (Grace Shaw) has been soaring, hitting festivals such as Groovin in the Moo and taking a jump from Australia to SXSW in Austin.

          Mallrat’s style is fueled with catchy verses driven with bouncing base tracks, generating a relaxed, chill vibe while still striking home with energetic choruses. Although this is a generalization of her work, there is a noticeable progression and evolution in her sound with the newest addition to her discography. A major stylistic change that has appeared in the new EP In The Sky is a step away from rapid fire lines by instead utilizing a more measured tone. Nonetheless the introspective and youthful lyrics delivered by Mallrat hold true to form in her latest release, ranging from epic love bangers to social instability and distance.

          In the Sky opens up with a casual track titled “Groceries.” This track demonstrates the effortless simplicity and effectiveness of Mallrat’s style, allowing her to deliver a song that epitomizes the feelings of wanting to get closer to a person through the simplicity of shared experience of mediocre activities. The simplicity of lyrical context through catchy verses is what makes Mallrat so relatable to anyone who has wanted to make the next move in a friendship but is bogged down by the mundane nature of day to day life. The flow between tracks on the EP occurs in such a way that it resembles a day-dream like synth driven trance as we traverse Grace Shaw’s social journey. In the Sky features smashing love songs in both “Texas” and “Make Time” with the former building on popping bass and sparkly echoed chorus with a slow crescendo to climax. As the track nears the end, it shows glimpses that are reminiscent to Shaw’s past work on Uninvited. The latter is a moody, layered song and offers a glimpse into the foggy haze of failed relationships. This track is full of heavy, throbbing bass which perhaps provides a picture of the singer’s heartbeat throbbing in similar fashion. The remainder of the songs on the EP (“Better” and “UFO”) both appeared as singles beforehand are among the more upbeat of the release. Most notably “UFO” includes a feature of Adelaide rapper, Allday, who was the inspiration that first drove Mallrat to start making her own music.

          With the release of In the Sky, Mallrat shows her skill in coupling bouncing electronic tracks with the mundane nature of daily life. The EP shows much promise for any future releases, as Shaw refines as well as slightly redirects her style from her premier EP. Mallrat is currently set to play the Zoo in Brisbane as well as Splendour in the Grass in Byron Bay.

Photo from Spotify

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