Miss Grit - Impostor EP Music Album Reviews

Miss Grit - Impostor EP Music Album Reviews
On her promising, impressively self-produced second EP, Margaret Sohn addresses youthful self-doubt with flair, pairing punchy indie rock with subtle electronic flourishes.

In her book Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning, the poet and critic Cathy Park Hong winces thinking about the time she’s logged at insufferable, majority-white poetry readings. You can envision the scene: the pathetic whoops following a routine “How’s everyone doing tonight”; the nauseating mmms of recognition; the grainy, solemn “poet’s voice” intended to patch over defective writing. But worse than white peoples’ self-seriousness, Hong thinks, is the shameful reality that she still performs for their approval. At the readings, she radiates difference. No matter how hard she strives to meet the craft’s lofty ideals—transcending identity, speaking boldly to the universal—Hong can’t escape her particularities as an Asian woman.
Racial alienation, sweeping artistic standards, the nagging suspicion of one’s own fraudulence—all of this comes to the fore on Margaret Sohn’s second EP as Miss Grit, Impostor. Despite training at the guitar for 16 years and studying music technology at NYU, the 21-year-old Sohn felt so uneasy about the initial praise for her debut, Talk Talk, that she imagined herself as “someone who was impersonating a musician.” Her sense of disjuncture—between her real and imagined selves, between her Korean and white identities—originated from her awkward upbringing as a mixed person growing up in white suburban Michigan. On her promising, impressively self-produced six-song EP, Sohn addresses youthful self-doubt with flair and polish.

Lyrically, Sohn is somewhat withholding, maintaining the taut composure of an outsider sizing up strangers at a party. “Buy the Banter” is a pitiless, almost Machiavellian analysis of power relations: “Our work pays the water tank for nothing,” she growls, willing herself rather opaquely to keep playing the ruling class’ games. Rather than divulging intimate feelings, or probing past events with serrated humor, her preferred strategy is to let pointed mantras accumulate weight and then dissolve through repetition. Across the last three or so minutes of the grungy “Blonde,” the only statement she provides is one of resignation: “I have nothing to say.” It’s offered mildly at first, as if she’s merely shrugging off a speaking role in a class presentation. But after a 40-plus-second instrumental break—during which crashing drums and guitars meet funky, computerized flourishes—it returns again with heightening anguish. By the very end, pitch-shifted to a sludgy crawl, her wail has completely deflated.

This trailing outro—which could be abridged slightly—parallels the pile-up of slowly disintegrating “nobody”s at the end of Mitski’s “Nobody.” Each persisting “no”—no-body, no-thing—is a cruel diminishment, returning again and again to batter its subject into oblivion. Sohn shares the older indie rocker’s steely poise and inwardness; their similarities show clearly on the existential “Don’t Wander,” where the arrangement skips forward with synthetic burbles and light clacks, but it’s Sohn’s searching, echoing voice that guides the song forward: “Reaching out for my own hand,” she sings tentatively, as if trying to make out shapes in fog. Sohn’s other obvious forebear is St. Vincent, whose influence can be found in the EP’s wiry guitar work and leaping, choral-like melodies. Sohn, like St. Vincent, refuses to pack her songs into tidy, predictable shapes, instead allowing them to sprawl and rip.

The guitar-based arrangements on Impostor are Sohn’s bolder friend, roughening up her observations, imbuing them with gravity. “Dark Side of the Party” is her early-twenties social-anxiety anthem, in which she side-eyes sparkling water and struggles to get wasted. The opening is blustery and swirly, like you’re watching, dazed, as light scatters from sequins onto the floor. Stabs of electric guitar counterbalance somewhat saccharine confessions—“I can’t tell hearts from spare parts,” she cries—and the big, explosive comedown at the chorus perfectly mirrors the chaos of being shoved around. Even better is Impostor’s thrashing, magnetic title track, on which Sohn confronts her fear of fraudulence most directly, speaking as if her thoughts are racing on stage: “They’re clapping awfully loud/For no tribulations or trials.” Like “Blonde,” “Impostor” cools down at the billowing outro, all atmospheric glitter and gentle guitar strums. “Let ’em smile,” she murmurs, before pivoting to a bolder claim: “Let me smile.” Despite her fears, Sohn is not a fraud impersonating a musician—just a musician, finally grasping what it is she has to say.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Miss Grit - Impostor EP Music Album Reviews Miss Grit - Impostor EP Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Tuesday, February 16, 2021 Rating: 5

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