Luna Li's velvety and airy vocals are unmistakable, but it's her ability to take them to greater heights, to transform them into something raw, gritty and persevering that's truly impressive. On her debut four-track EP Opal Angel, the Torontonian born Hannah Bussiere moves from sombre ballads to garage pop-rock cuts in just ten minutes, at times evoking Angel Olsen.
Opener and title track "Opal Angel" pours into your ears like honey, but Bussiere's magnetic voice is quickly broken up by shredding guitar riffs throughout. On "Need a Lil Love," churning drums convey lyrics addressing slut-shame culture — "They were catcalling, and howling, and no my name's not 'honey' or 'love'" — while "Ghosting," a calm, spacey, sweet treat floating on a sea of violins is saved for last. On EP highlight "Star Stuff," guitars wail, synths whirl and drums pound as Luna Li's commanding vocals turn full rock star, punctuated by a sharp, repeating "ha! ha!" refrain.
Opal Angel is a courageous step forward, shining with flashy guitars and daring vocals, wearing in both its musical freedom and susceptibility proudly. (Fried Records)