August 19, 2016

EP: Mallrat - Uninvited

Mallrat is the seventeen-year-old we all aspire to be.

When I was seventeen, I used to spend the weekends collaging boxes, wondering if Seventeen magazine was really written for teens, and doing photo shoots in the woods. Mallrat is the seventeen-year-old I never was but always aspired to be. Although the Australian artist has been uploading songs online for the last year, Uninvited is her first official EP. The album opens with “Tokyo Drift,” which is tinged with the bright charm of being young. She sings, “I’ve been meaning to text you for seven or eight days / Get back from your vacay / Meet me at HJs,” lyrics that anyone with a blossoming crush understands. She goes on, singing, “Laughing at the wrong time / Laughing for a long time / Think it's gonna be alright,” bringing to mind the innocent inside jokes and camaraderie that rule your high school years. Her voice is laced with Lorde vibes mixed with a bit of funk as she combines synth pop with an edgy rap. There is a romanticized innocence to Mallrat’s tunes as she sings about relationships, texting, and being bored, the all-to-relatable millennial malaise.

The titular track, “Uninvited,” opens with the lines, “Hey this party might be cool /  I think I know those kids from school / But I only came for you.” Mallrat follows with, “I’m feeling all alone / They said that you’re at home / I wish that I was too,” projecting a smooth confidence and sense of self through a teenage gaze, one that is often misrepresented or ignored. Although romantic pursuits are not a unique topic, few artists succeed with the blunt honesty that Mallrat maintains in her music. In “Sunglasses,” Mallrat repeats the lyrics “everyone around you wears the same sunglasses,” an insightful commentary on being influenced by popular trends. She takes the opportunity to comment on the troubling fa├žade built up around her as her peers stop appreciating individuality. This is particularly intriguing as it's challenging to find information about the girl behind Mallrat, which is in itself a disguise for whoever she may be outside of the music. After all, Mallrat does describe herself as “Hannah Montana of the rap game.” The EP nears its end with “Suicide Blonde,” a song about struggling with eating disorders, depression, and suicidal thoughts. However, the topics are packaged up neatly with a catchy beat in the background. Mallrat’s ability to speak so clearly about heavy topics while maintaining her electropop sound is impressive, allowing the reality to wash over those who listen to, dance to, and admire her music. The last song on Uninvited, “For Real,” gives the listener a lighthearted ending as she sings,“La la la, not a worry in the world and blablablah.” On the EP, Mallrat shows off her ability to mix youthful energy with wisdom beyond her teenage years. My 17-year-old self would be in awe right now. I know my 19-year-old self is.


Listen to Mallrat on soundcloud.

Amelia Eskenazi is a feminist and gender studies and art student at Colorado College. In their free time, they enjoy collaging boxes, dying their hair at 2 am, and eating freeze pops in the shower. Their political pondering and rants can be found on Twitter and their photographic outbursts can be found on Instagram at photobscura_ and a_eskenazi.