The Aces, a girl rock band from Provo, Utah weren’t on my radar. I didn’t know them from a bar of soap. That is until the glorious day my wonderful blue haired mermadian music loving friend Winona started posting about them on social media. I trust Winona’s music taste like no other. Our whole friendship began because of our love of music. She’s the one who got me into Haim and Bleachers properly, to name a few so I pay attention to who she’s listening to. And boy, am I glad I did? This debut album was killer good.
TRACK 1: VOLCANIC LOVE
The riff on this track played with absolute fire by Katie Henderson gets inside your bones It sounds like the kind of song you’d listen to in summer, cruising down the highway, windows open in a car full of friends as each of you tries with varying success to work on your tan. Cristal Ramirez’s vocals in this one are raw and blistered as though the impact of this great volcanic love (that in one breath makes you want to run as fast as you can in the opposite direction and in the next, you’ve tangled together again) has consumed her vocals, such are the strength of the scars, memories and moments she sings about.
TRACK 2: STUCK
… Sorry, I got distracted. I was too busy dancing. Something tells me this album is all about the riffs. That opening sounds like it could be spun off a 70’s vinyl. The kind kids hide from their parents and play when they’re alone in the house, supposed to be studying. It’s amazing. And then, the drums kick in. They take this sick track to a whole new level. Can you girls and Haim collab soon, pretty please?!
By the way, just a note. I know miscommunication or lack of it at all isn’t healthy for anyone and I wish some of the people who create the music I love would just say what they felt when they did because I want them to be happy. However, when they finally realise what they should have said which might have left them with somewhere to go and the only way they can process this is through words, we get some pretty banging and hella relatable tracks so that’s a bit of a tricky one.
TRACK 3: FAKE NICE
OK, where has this song been? I’ve needed it. So have you. This is the song you have to resist the urge to passive aggressively send to the people who are nice and charming in front of adults but are awful when it’s just you. The kind of people that when they’re nice to you, it feels like a trap or the ones who just will never be aware enough of the world around them to know how they’ve hurt you, so you have to psych yourself up to be nice. It’s not super obvious, I have personal experience related to this song, is it? Also, I love the way the vocals sound fake nice, dripping in sweet and sarcastic honey.
TRACK 4: LOVIN’ IS BIBLE
Religion and love metaphors make for pretty solid songs. This is no exception. It’s the intoxicating rush of falling in love when you want everything they can give you. It’s all new and exciting. It’s the knowledge that you can’t keep your hands to yourself, I mean you could but why would you want to?
TRACK 5: JUST LIKE THAT:
Love can be blind. This is what happens when the rose coloured glasses come off. Your friends have been trying to tell you for ages that this person is no good, but like most things, for it to really sink in, you have to realise yourself. And when you do, it hurts.
TRACK 6: LAST ONE
This track has amazing rhythm, it’s like a poem, the kind that you conjure when you’ve had a lot of time to think. It sounds like a mantra, something you need to repeat so your heart and brain don’t betray you. It’s hard when you lose pieces of yourself because of someone else. But I think it’s kind of fun to rediscover them and figure out how to put yourself back together.
So far, this one is my favourite. Maybe it’s because I write about my life too and have made similar promises to myself…
TRACK 7: STRONG ENOUGH
This sounds like a Jack Antonoff record! Can these girls work with him soon? Oh boy… This song is flirtation but also fierceness. It’s daring the other person to be good enough to stay on your mind. But it’s also kind of making them aware that your job is not to make them feel better about their chances of being with you. They’re not lying. 100% honest and independent. If you can’t step up to the plate and compliment, not complete them, then buh-bye.
TRACK 8: HOLIDAY
This is a song with a sick beat. Love the synth. This one’s a little emotionally confused. You want to be his escape and you know you could do it. Craving closeness. But… at the same time, he’s consuming you, leaving you anxious. Know your worth and the value of your time. Walk away. Live your life. Oh, but you know he probably wants you to stay. Honey, if he really wanted you, there’d be no doubt.
TRACK 9: STAY
This one is desperate spilling of feelings, just as someone’s turned away. You’re shocked and so are they. There’s a pause. A prayer that they feel the same way. And then you hold your breath and both jump exhilaratingly over the edge. Thank God. Trusting someone with your feelings is a big deal, especially if you’re brave enough to not hold back. It’s all heady rush, dizzying touch.
Shoutout to the lyric: “We’re broke but we still party.” Millenials who obsesses over avocado toast or concert tickets, in my case can relate.
TRACK 10: BAD LOVE
I feel like this one should be compulsory listening for those in the public eye or anyone who feels judged for their relationship. A relationship is between the two people in it. No one else’s business. Let them say what they want. We’ll love in spite of it all. You shouldn’t have to hide that you’re in love because it’s a beautiful privilege. Although there are cases, where being blind and deaf to your friends trying to help you leads to heartbreak, but in the end, no matter what, trust your instinct.
TRACK 11: PUT IT ON THE LINE
Angelic vocals to open. The message of the tune = Know your worth. Get rid of people who don’t treat you well. Don’t take the crap. You deserve better. Even if it hurts like hell to let go, it’ll feel better being free. I can relate to this song on so many levels. I wish I couldn’t but that’s life. What happens if they’re the ones who are always supposed to be there, that are the best at playing mind games? Well, if that’s the case even if you fake it till you make it, do your own thing and don’t give them the satisfication they crave of knowing it hurts or that you even give a damn.
TRACK 12: HURRICANE
PIANO! To me, this opening piano sounds a bit like the sister of Taylor Swift’s 1989 World Tour Enchanted/Wildest Dreams mashup. Beautiful, soft, jagged, sad vocals. I hate it when you’re at the end of something or you’ve hit a roadblock in your story with someone and it leaves you doubting the whole thing. This is heartbreak, spilled over piano keys. You wonder how you could be so stupid to let them in and isn’t it the absolute worst when you start to become guarded and even a little jaded because they hurt you so badly? The past beckons and you wish you could hide there but the thing about truths and pain, no matter how hard it is to take, you can’t un-know something or go back in time to not experience it. It just happens. And you change. But it will feel OK again, someday.
TRACK 13: WAITING FOR YOU
Sonic hypnotic desperation. Anticipation. Pining. Sometimes when you want someone to understand how you feel, you stress because you’re nervous to spell it out. Well, maybe the other person really wants it but is scared to seem too eager. Get on the same page. Communicate. But understand, it’s hard for us overthinkers. The harmonies are really cool and so is the falsetto.
Overall, this album was 🔥. What a debut. Everyone needs it now. Lorde is a big influence for these girls so I think they’d be happy with the judgement that this album is as much a house party complete colour spectrum soundtrack of youth as Melodrama. These girls are ones we better watch out for, I can’t wait to see what they do next!
Now, all we need is for them to come to Australia. Get on that Gudinski, and Frontier crew, pretty please x