Nineteen year old Grace Shaw, better known as Mallrat, has recently been making big waves across Australia with the release of her five track EP, In The Sky. Hailing from Brisbane, Mallrat has already performed at Splendour in The Grass, alongside artists like Peking Duk and Allday, and has also had Allday feature on one of her tracks. Every show on her recent Australian tour was sold out, so I thought I’d give her most recent EP a spin and see what all the hype is about.
Kicking off the EP is Groceries, a catchy and repetitive track that really works. It starts off with a gentle guitar riff, and very beat that sounds like fingers clicking. Mallrat’s vocals are smooth and beautiful, and the lyrics get stuck in your head instantly. After listening to the track just once, I found myself singing along with glee. The verses are more stripped back, with clean guitar and a pumping beat, and when the chorus hits, the song builds up with elegant backing vocals and a fuller drum sound. The bridge features a rich piano line, backed with an egg shaker beat, with vocals gently layered on top. I’m not sure what this song actually has to do with groceries, but it’s definitely a very addictive track.
Texas is track number two, starts off with a bass synth sound, and monotonous vocals that branch out as gorgeous harmonies are added. The song is light an airy, with slightly heavier lyrics than the previous tracks. Synths play in the background behind her vocals that almost have the vibe of falling snow. Lyrics like “You’re young and you’re precious, you’re laugh is infectious, your heart’s as big as Texas, I don’t think you’re reckless” which lead on to “Maybe you strayed from the cross on your necklace, and now I feel selfish cuz I miss my best friend” imply that this track is about losing a friend who has strayed onto the wrong path, and feeling a little guilty that you couldn’t help them. This track really makes you want to sing along, and also makes a deep emotional connection to the listener.
The next track on this banger of an EP is Better, and kicks off again with the clean guitar and ‘clicky’ beat heard in Groceries. This track is quite poppy, and Mallrat really demonstrates her vocal talents, jumping up to graceful high notes with ease. The verses are stripped back and really focus on the vocals, and slowly build up to a very full chorus, somewhat reminiscent of sunshine. The lyrics “Maybe when the summer ends I’ll drift away from all my friends” make me feel like this song is about finishing high school and stepping out into the wide world, a common theme amongst every school-leaver. The song is relatable, especially to young people, and really captures what it feels like to be a young adult.
UFO is kinda the ‘single’ from the EP and features well known artist Allday. It kicks off with an incredibly groovy synth sound, made up of broken up vocal melodies. This track has a very mainstream vibe, with a simple beat and synth rhythm under enchanting vocals. Once again, Mallrat really shows off her immense amount of vocal talent, cruising through her vocal range, from high to low, as if it’s as easy as breathing. Allday comes in during the bridge, throwing out some smooth rhymes, and complimenting Mallrat’s voice by contrasting it with his own. This track is definitely a hit, and I definitely recommend giving it a listen.
Bringing the EP to a close is Make Time, which rolls in with an eerie, deep synth line. Mallrat’s gentle vocal melodies flow nicely on top, making for a very full sound, even though the instruments are sparse. As the chorus comes in, a gentle hi hat sneaks into the background, picking up the pace. Delicate vocal harmonies make this track sound sweet and more-ish, and I wouldn’t be surprised if you find yourself swaying along to the catchy rhythm. This track uses some old-school effects, giving it a somewhat nostalgic nineties edge, and brings the EP to a solid close.
Overall, Mallrat’s EP In The Sky is youthful and addictive. The songs all have the tendency to stick in your head, and I definitely found myself humming the tunes at the most random times. I highly recommend checking out In The Sky, I promise you won’t regret it. You can keep up to date with this talented young lady by following her on social media or via her website. This young superstar is jetting off to the USA soon, and if they like her as much as we Aussie’s do, I think she’ll go really far.