Beach Bunny - Emotional Creature Music Album Reviews

Beach Bunny - Emotional Creature Music Album Reviews
With a newly polished sound, the indie pop group’s latest is a neatly packaged document of quarter-life angst.

Lili Trifilio, the leader of Beach Bunny, rose to indie-pop prominence largely thanks to teenage girls circulating her songs on TikTok. In the five years since her solo project expanded into a full lineup with guitarist Matt Henkels, bassist Anthony Vaccaro, and drummer Jon Alvarado, the 25-year-old songwriter has amassed a sea of loyal fans who attend the band’s shows en masse to participate in female-dominated mosh pits, driven largely by the mutual rage of a broken heart. It’s easy to hear why Beach Bunny’s music has garnered such devotion. Trifilio writes about widely understood experiences: the self-doubt prompted by a relationship on the fritz, the thrill of being so infatuated with someone you want the world to watch you kiss them, the malaise of feeling unfit to be prom queen. Her melodies, meanwhile, stick with the spirit of an early 2000s Radio Disney hit—memorable and pleasant, if slightly simplistic.

The group’s 2020 debut, Honeymoon, was an unsophisticated but charming bible of love songs that mirrored the catharsis of sleepover gossip. When the pandemic rendered that therapeutic sense of community impossible, Trifilio spent the newly acquired free time taking in galactic sci-fi stories like Star Wars and Star Trek; perhaps feeling a bit distanced from herself, she began writing her second album, Emotional Creature. Its 12 songs attempt to capture the burden of a bleeding heart: “I feel confused by what I’m ashamed for/I feel ashamed by my human nature,” she sings on “Scream,” a synth-embellished ballad that culminates in a distant shriek. With Fall Out Boy and Motion City Soundtrack go-to Sean O’Keefe handling production, Emotional Creature is Trifilio’s neatly packaged documentation of quarter-life angst.

The thematic cornerstone of Emotional Creature is “Weeds,” a mid-tempo rock ditty that builds to a sweeping, anthemic coda. “I’m tired of being anxious, broken, choking on my tears/I let the same old problems steal away my years,” she sings, and you can almost picture Trifilio talking directly to herself in her bathroom mirror: “He’s not the problem/The problem is you think you’re only viable for love when someone makes you feel complete.” Throughout the record there are subtle hints of growth—both personal and musical—but they’re often dragged down by the redundancy of her thematic concerns. From feeling a little too dependent on a partner (“Oxygen”) to finding your dream boy (“Love Song”), she’s covered a lot of this subject matter before, often better the first time.

In the great pursuit for relatability, Trifilio’s lyrics are familiar and nonspecific: “But then I fall into your arms again/After all, is this the end?” she hollers on the searing “Gone.” During the pandemic, she moved back in with her parents and perhaps as a side effect, Emotional Creature is filled with vignettes of innocent bedroom scenes: “I can’t hide the letters in my bedroom,” she sings over a Michelle Branch-like chug on opener “Entropy,” before telling a love interest that their “laugh lives in [her] bedroom” on closer “Love Song.” And while it’s heartening to hear a genuinely enthusiastic underdog like Trifilio take on a more polished sound, her shortcomings become more discernible without the casual, garagey shading of her past work.

Music made or revered by teenage girls doesn’t imply shallowness. Take fellow TikTok darling Olivia Rodrigo, whose debut album Sour came loaded with slick one-liners about teen heartache and angst, or Letters to Cleo’s Kay Hanley, whose chipper snarl on the Josie and the Pussycats soundtrack remains an oft-referenced touchstone 20 years after the film’s release. There are moments when Emotional Creature approaches the high bar set by those records, like on the bouncy, whimsical “Karaoke,” which features some of Trifilio’s best melodies and one of the album’s most endearing lines: “I learn all the words to your daydreams like I’m trying to sing karaoke.” On the breezy “Eventually,” she swaps her usual schtick of young love for an anecdote about her first panic attack: “I tried to cry but I laughed cause my brain’s acting stupid,” she sings, a welcome moment of nuance.

For those who’ve endured the all-encompassing apprehension of a new relationship, mourned their first real breakup, or simply wondered what to do with all these feelings, it’s easy to have a soft spot for Trifilio and the unabashed affection of Emotional Creature. But futile romance isn’t the only criteria of mid-20s dread; there’s a whole world out there to make someone want to throw caution to the wind and launch themselves into outer space. “Life looks better through my worldview,” Trifilio sings on “Oxygen.” It would be a more rewarding sentiment if she weren’t viewing the world solely from her comfort zone.

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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.
Beach Bunny - Emotional Creature Music Album Reviews Beach Bunny - Emotional Creature Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Friday, July 29, 2022 Rating: 5

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