track by track
in the sky - mallrat
By Abby Butler
A complete rundown and review of Mallrat's farm fresh sophomore EP 'In The Sky'.
It was at Sydney’s Metro Theatre last year, in a supporting slot for American dream boat Maggie Rogers, that I was introduced to Mallrat, the moniker of 19 year old Grace Shaw. I hadn’t heard much from the Brissy based act other than a courteous Spotify search before the gig, but since July I’ve been hooked. On Friday, she dropped her much anticipated sophomore EP In The Sky and from the back of the bus to the moment I wake up, it’s been on repeat.
Whilst her sound flows between emo electronica and bubblegum pop, the core of her songs remain familiar. Through dusty rose coloured glasses, Mallrat creates hazy dreamscapes that somehow make the mundane seem beautiful and significant. Here’s my two cents on the tracks from Mallrat’s In The Sky.
With an innocent folky guitar melody, In The Sky starts off with Groceries. From Westfield in Inside Voices to Woolies, Mallrat melds themes of love, lust, hesitation and heartbreak with the unremarkable idea of grabbing groceries. It has a similarly wholesome overarching feeling as Better, which appears midway through the EP. The chorus arrives and it’s an immediate crowd sing a long in the making with lines like “sticky on my mind when I go” rolling through the song with Mallrat’s seamless flow.
Texas arrives like a moody, spaced out hangover to the celebration that is the opening track. As Mallrat’s thoughts spiral and intensify throughout the verses, so does the production until the final crescendo of the final half. Musically, Texas soars and is balanced perfectly with Mallrat’s Lilly Allen-esque wording of simple lines like “you’re young and you’re precious, your laugh is infectious”.
When Better swings in halfway through the EP, it feels like a breath of fresh air, which explains the dreamy farm landscape of the music video. It’s the classic hazy pop we’ve come to love from Mallrat, with lines like “everyone’s alive, so everyone’s alright” being a real reassurance after the darkness of Texas. The production is glittery and fun, with the whole track feeling like a dusty summer memory only now found in photographs and song lyrics.
UFO is more neon lights and back alleys than fresh air and sunflowers, but the track is placed perfectly on In The Sky. The throbbing bass throughout the song provides the perfect platform for each layer of production and builds until Allday’s verse, which brings a human realism to Mallrat’s extraterrestrial verse vibes. Oh also, the line “Et cetera, I'm better-er” is probably/absolutely without a doubt my favourite on the whole EP.
Rather than a closing track, Make Time gives us an idea of whether Mallrat’s off to next. The opening is intriguing, completely different from anything we’ve heard from her before. One of Mallrat’s qualities I love most is her ability to meld the endearing authenticity of a artist producing beats from their bedroom, with the quality of an established electronic act. Make Time is where that quality shines, with raw lyrics combining with sophisticated, confident production all under the canopy of Mallrat’s signature haze.
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The pop princess of Brisbane and her posse of kick-ass female openers took Sydney's Factory Theatre and our girl Gab was there to capture it all for you.