8Tracks Review: ‘State Change’ EP by Priska

State Change EP (2018) by Priska

You’ve got something to say

Priska’s new EP dropped Tuesday.  Here’s what she said on FB:

“I’m so excited and proud to share this project with you all. I wrote the majority of this album during a very pivotal time in my life where I went through a series of changes that transformed how I approached life. I was genuinely afraid of embarking on this project, I wasn’t sure if it would be ‘good enough’… or if it would be good at all.

“And you know what, making this album was hard as hell, digging through the dredges of my past and trying to piece together the good, the bad, the hard won, and the tremendous loss: it seemed utterly impossible. But in releasing this now, I know that this is a project that reveals a part of my story and reflects exactly where I am… and that is what I’m most proud of.”

I know I just reviewed a Priska single and video a month ago, and there are so many great artists worth talking about that I do not want to fixate on a few favorites (which Priska is becoming), but I didn’t know four weeks ago that there was a new EP coming, and an EP is much more what I want to do with these reviews, so here we are, partly because of that and partly because I’m hoping to be timely.

Which is going to be an issue May 25, when two albums are dropping on the same day.

Apologies for my weird scheduling, but no apologies for circling back to this artist.

Pulling on my heartstrings

The tracks.

  1. Gold in the River (4:45)
  2. Fly the Coop (4:23)
  3. State Change (3:29)
  4. In the Dark (4:22)
  5. Don’t Go Quietly (6:16)

I can’t find any credits, but if I do I will edit this post with the info.

Tell the truth ’bout what you’ve seen

Well heck.  This is a great collection of songs.  I’ve had it on endless repeat since I got out of bed Tuesday morning, and was so happy the first time through that I didn’t wait for the third song before I messaged jozjozjoz to say how good it was.

“Gold in the River” starts it off with a nice, galloping beat that reminded me of that scene in Rocky IV when Rocky gets into his car and drives around pondering everything that’s led to his defeat at the hands of Ivan Drago, while Robert Tepper’s “No Easy Way Out” plays over a video montage.  I even muted the audio and played Priska’s song over the video on YouTube.  It’s not really a great fit for the movie, but it’s a better song than the Tepper song, by miles.

I have very few quibbles with this EP, and they’re all very small.  My least favorite parts are the moments where Priska’s vocals go into growly, guttural mode.  They’re definitely more Motown than Mayhem, but I find them oddly distracting.  I get over them quickly because the rest of the vocals on this track are terrific.

The song is also really nicely orchestrated and mixed.  The drums sound too electronic for my tastes, but there’s a wonderful clanging gong sound that makes up for it, and the BGVs are yummy.

“Fly the Coop” is next, and it makes for a great one-two punch.  I liked the song when I reviewed it last month, but I like it even more now in context.

Priska slows things down for the next two tracks, “State Change” and “In the Dark,” and these tracks took me until the fifth listen-through (or thereabouts) to grow on me.  One gets the sense that the real theme of the collection is here in these songs.  I find the imagery in “In the Dark” interesting but maybe not as lyrical as in the rest of the songs (“You will find me in the dark / sittin’ on my hands / not quite sure where to park / not quite sure how to bend / to wherever you are”), but “State Change?”  Come on.  When have we ever had this metaphor in folky pop music?  It’s a great song for the middle of the album, as the collection’s mood finds its nadir and then gradually emerges into light:

Don’t go so fast
keep time, keep pace
and wait for me to catch up
Fight fire with fear
hold on my dear
and promise me you won’t give up.

The EP ends with “Don’t Go Quietly,” which I talked about in September 2016.  It’s a nice conclusion.

I will find you in the dark

Best song: “Gold in the River”
2nd best song: “Fly the Coop”
Most singable: “Fly the Coop”
Song to make you text your ex (don’t do it!): “State Change”
Flick your Bic for: “Don’t Go Quietly”
Best lyric: “I know there was gold in the river that night, when you stole me away” (“Gold in the River”)
Best moment:  Still that note Priska hits on “Coo-oo-oop” in “Fly the Coop!”  Dreamy.

$4.95 on Amazon.  Go get it.

Rating: 8/10

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About Mitchell K. Dwyer

@scrivener likes movies.
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