As you might know, both An Overthinking Teenager @ Mixolydian Musings and I are MASSIVE Lauren Aquilina fans! And following the recent release of Kicks, I’m super excited to announce that AOT and I are going to be doing some reviewing together. 😀 Hopefully this will culminate in a release of Lauren’s LP (later this year?!) but for now I present to you: a review of Lauren Aquilina’s new releases since her Liars EP! Be sure to go and check out An Overthinking Teenager’s post to compare our preferences and comments. 🙂
We’re going through the songs chronologically (not counting Time to Say Goodbye, since it’s a cover). So first up on the Ocean EP is the title single, Ocean.
AOT: OK I have a tiny confession…at first I didn’t like this song. Like I listened to it a couple of times then kinda forgot about it because I wasn’t that keen on it. BUT NOW, after listening to it again today, I like it!
At first I was a bit worried that Lauren had gone all mainstream electronic and that this one was a little repetitive. But after a few more listens, this grew so much on me and now it’s one of my favourites! The lyrics are a lot more abstract than Old Aquilina (which is my word for the Trilogy EP songs, basically) but there’s so much wonderful ocean imagery in there.
Me: Video thoughts of mine: A+ ocean aesthetic. I mean, mostly Lauren’s videos don’t have like massive stories? But I like that its simplicity lets me focus on the song.
AOT: So…like you at first I was like wut is this where is she it looks like the blinds are moving but THEN I was like “yass dem cgi skills though”. And I LOVED LOVED LOVED the bit when right at the same time loads more instruments come in a massive wave crashes.
(By the way, I’m sort of editing and paraphrasing our flailings for readability.) I love this video — I think it allows you to interpret the song, but it really goes with its aesthetic. And some of the ocean overlays and timing of the scene switches are excellent. Rating: 4/5.
Me: Um, I sort of…didn’t like Low AT ALL when I first heard it. It’s probably still my least favourite of like the New Aquilina songs?
AOT: I LOVE the like double vocals? I don’t know. what to call it but they’re awesome. Video wise I like that it’s simple and one take and it kinda fits with the lyrics but not that much? It’s maybe a bit too abstract.
Next up is Low. I was also a bit sceptical of this at first, and I’m personally just not a massive fan of its production! But as ever there are still some great lyrics (like ‘too deep to see the waterline/too young to know that I’ll be fine’.) I thought the video was rather too abstract but the one take was impressive. PROPS FOR VIDEO STYLE. AOT preferred Low and I preferred Ocean, so rating: 4/5 again!
AOT I like the chorus but feel like it’s maybe a bit anticlimactic? (I don’t like that word but I couldn’t think of anything else.)
Me: Asdfjkl I actually love this so much! I think it is less of a big chorus? But I’m not sure; I do like it though. And I particularly enjoyed the kinda echoey piano thing.
Out of Our Depth technically isn’t one of the ‘main’ singles — hence the lack of a video or proper track for me to show you — but I adore it. I think it’s a gem! It’s a bit more traditionally structured. The echo-y piano thing and guitar are awesome, and I feel as though it’s more of a mature song? There could be lots of interpretations for it. *nods* Rating: 4.5/5.
AOT:AOT: IDK THE INSTRUMENT BUT THE BIT AT THE START
Me: I LOVE THAT SO MUCH (*switches onto caps lock*) And I love how it continues and slightly changes throughout. Argh, this is probably the song I had the best first impression of and then continued to love!
Now Echoes! I LOOOVE THIS. Both AOT and I agreed this was probably our favourite! The little electronic motif we hear repeated throughout is awesome. For this one my excellent first impression continued through all my listens. Nothin really to be improved: fabulous lyrics, melody, and production! Rating: 5/5
This session is a bit more chilled and pared down musically. Live vocals is always wonderful — and we have less backing so more of the main — and the setting is SO COOL. Man, do I love the black and white aesthetic. (And I’ve been there at the Tate! #claimtofame.) I’d also highly suggest checking out the Edeema remix of Echoes. I’m not normally a massive fan of remixes but I thought this one brought just the right touch of originality!
Me: Okay I’m done! *flails* I FEEL SO PUMPED NOW. Yesss upbeat video and awesome song. Kicks is definitely more pop-y & the lyrics are less sort of…lyrical, I guess, compared Old Aquilina. But IT’S POP PERFECTION.
AOT: YES THE VIDEO IS GREAT! And I love that she included fans. The only thing is I can see why she made it all girls but idk it feels maybe a little bit unfair to boys. Makes it less relatable? But I do get that she’s going for the female empowerment thing.
*gasps* Kicks is…NOT a sad song?!? Upbeat, you say?! Ahaha so Kicks is a bit of a departure from the usual Aquilina vibes. It has more succint rather than descriptive lyrics, I thought, but I love the upbeat girl power message. YAS THE BOXING. It was super cool that the video included fans, although maybe in going for all-girls it was a little exclusionary? But the song itself is pop awesomeness. (A hint of what’s to come?) And the album art is stunning — I love a good Helvetica-y font. *nods* We couldn’t really think of anything wrong with this so we went rating: 5/5.