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ep review: i picked my scab and now there’s a scar by manley

Choose any unsuspecting house on Manley Drive in San Gabriel, California and who lies behind the garage may be Nat Lee’s musical persona, Manley. As a queer Asian-American, their experiences and fantasies swirl together with wistful melodies and plainspoken lyrics, becoming a fusion of all your favorite sad-girl rockstars. 

Manley’s second EP, I Picked My Scab and Now There’s a Scar, is the grown-up, sentimental result of their first EP, You Wouldn’t Know What’s Good For You Even If It Hit You in the Face. Their recording and production shows major improvement, and their songwriting feels even more mature and heartfelt than before. 

With the tenderness of Jay Som and the rawness of Soccer Mommy, Manley is self-described as “nothing special,” although their music is quite the opposite. It’s the little things that make Manley so special; the buzzing feedback that leads “How To Love Again,” the cheeky “Is this thing on? Okay…” tucked into “Sad Songs,” the pleading reminiscence of a loved one on “Mooncakes.” They are confessional; they sing of stolen moments and found secrets. Like the title suggests, I Picked My Scab and Now There’s a Scar peels back the callouses to expose the softness, sometimes bleeding, and risks a scar for the sake of healing.

As a newcomer into Los Angeles’ scene, Manley already has already played at some of the city’s most beloved spots; Junior High Los Angeles shows, Trash Mag-hosted sets, or nights at the iconic Asian-American open mic, Tuesday Night Cafe. With the release of their second EP, they flourish with potential as a fresh face in the rock scene.

Listen to the full EP for yourself here:

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