Words by Emily Hollitt.
Pop Punk is a genre of music that I have always loved and respected, particularly due to the amount of powerhouse women at the centre of the scene. Ladies like Hayley Williams (Paramore), Jenna McDougall (Tonight Alive) and Cassadee Pope (Hey Monday). With Eat Your Heart Out’s latest release, we now have Caitlin Henry. On the album, Henry says “I felt like I grew up a lot in the last year, in an emotional sense, and I learned how to deal with these kind of experiences in new ways”, summed up perfectly with the album’s title ‘Florescence’, defined as the growth of developing richly and fully.
Carousel starts the album with an instantly intriguing instrumental build-up. In classic pop punk fashion the production is clean and punchy, featuring delicate, simple and glittery guitar melody overlapping and contrasting the heaviness of the chorus perfectly. Juxtaposition and the mix of clean and heavy sounds is one of the core elements of what defines the genre away from simply just pop or punk, so the album was off to the perfect start. Caitlin’s vocals were already drawing comparison to Jenna McDougal. These vocals are put even more on show with second track Spinning, including great vocal production and harmony, providing an overall lush sound to the track.
Daydream focuses more on the pop end of the genre, with the track being entirely catchy and repetitive- the album’s earworm. The track almost made me feel as though I was caught in a loop, fitting the track’s title perfectly. “I’ll come back eventually” sings Caitlin, semiotically using the track’s production to highlight the core message of the lyrics, as if she’s stuck in a dream she hasn’t quite woken up from. The chorus mentions stargazing, focusing on the album’s theme of space, stars and constellations. This track was an album highlight for me.
Heavy With Envy starts exactly the way you would expect any track with that title to begin- heavy! The production is dense and harsh, the guitars over driven and my head surely was banging. Caitlin showed a higher range in her vocal, creating more interest into her vocal performance and highlighting hers and the bands versatility amongst same of the sameness that can often come into play during records in the genre. The overall production was saturated, maintaining the core idea of heaviness and the vocals where well produced with great harmony’s and use of vocal doubling and density.
Constellations gave the bassist some spotlight, a feature I love to hear in guitar heavy genres. The chorus was thick however this track seemed to focus a lot more on the instrumental than on the vocal, which at times made it hard to make out the lyrics over the instrumental, particularly in the chorus. Closer to the Sun follows, introducing the track guitar feedback, giving the impression that the track is about to get heavy. And that’s EXACTLY what it does. This track is the first point of variance between the preceding songs, playing more on the punk side of the genre. More vocal effects and distortion are added, and Caitlin is given the opportunity to showcase her range and her harsher vocals, a great thing to hear after the sameness I was starting to feel between the tracks on the album. Unfortunately, this sameness was brought back with Blinded, although, it did have one of the strongest melodies on the album.
Same Stars was a real album highlight, the only truck thus far where I had a strong emotional response. The song was still heavy, yet oddly melancholic at the same time. The lyrics shared this notion, with lines like “We were singing loud in my car… we’re looking at the same stars”. Nowhere followed the same notion, still heavy and head-bang-able, yet very emotionally charged, fuelled by desperation and sadness. The only problem with this song is the fade out at the end which slowly fades away with the lyrics, making the song sound incomplete and the production on the ending a little lazy.
Pear Tree brought the exact variance I was looking for! Just like Misguided Ghosts did on Paramore’s ‘Brand New Eyes’, this was the acoustic track I was waiting for! Every great Pop/Punk album has one, and I loved how the band where able to use minimal production and focus on the lyrics, yet still highlight the technicality of the instrumentation. I would have loved to hear this track sit more mid-album to separate some of the more similar songs to make the album flow better from start to finish. The lyrics were a highlight in this track featuring some of the strongest and most interpersonal on the album, including my favourite “Your memory’s blurry and it scares me how I’m starting to forget the way you sound”. The album ended on a high with Cold Hands, likened to the same harshness, density, energy and intensity of Paramore’s Careful.
‘Florescence’ encapsulates everything a good Pop Punk album should be- loud, proud and punchy while staying emotional where it needs to be. Eat Your Heart Out have done a great job of creating a cohesive and interesting album fitting the mould for everything Pop/Punk die hards will adore.
Album will be released on May 17 2019. Listen to the new song ‘Spinning’ and pre-order the album below!
Apple Music: http://found.ee/florescenceam
Pre-Save on Spotify: http://found.ee/florescencesp
Amazon Music: http://found.ee/florescenceamz
Google Play: http://found.ee/florescencegp