Published Aug 24, 2016With the release of Lowell's big and bright 2014 debut, We Loved Her Dearly, the art-pop chanteuse left many listeners wondering what direction she'd head next. On her second EP, Part 1: PARIS YK, Lowell continues her journey towards pop perfection, maintaining her impressive songwriting talents and employing a clear nostalgic theme.
The three smoothly produced tracks here (with assistance from Zale Epstein and Davey Badiuk, of ScHoolboy Q and Tegan and Sara fame, respectively) stand strong on their own, even if the flow from song to song is somewhat jarring.
Opening track "Blow the Bass" is a bit of rollicking electro pomp, fizzing with distorted vocals and big beats that gel nicely with Lowell's description of a night "going up and down on the floor." Midway track "High Enough" finds itself in different territory, as she ponders questions of self-doubt and self-worth over an airy cloud of space-y synths. The transition from that inward-looking yet danceable track to the radio-ready "West Coast Forever" is a large jump, but it works. The delightfully escapist tune about driving off towards the sun is infectious without feeling cliché.
PARIS YK's initial inconsistency doesn't overpower its overall quality. Though it's still unclear what kind of sound Lowell will embrace on her next full-length, the guessing game she plays here feels like part of the allure. (Arts & Crafts)