It’s hard to believe ‘Butterfly Blue’ (out through Dew Process) is Mallrat‘s debut album. She has graced us with two stunning EPs and a series of brilliant singles that have illustrated her perfect amalgam of feisty yet achingly beautiful tracks that seamlessly drift between pure pop, indie rock and rap (sometimes all within one song), all with a hint of delicious melancholy.
Tracks such as ‘Your Love’ with its sleek and luxurious instrumentation, Mallrat (the work of Grace Shaw) has a gorgeous voice – a wry, observational style that is velvet lined and evocative – and, with a nod to her earlier work as a rapper, there is a little rap sample interlude that adds a touch of grit. Shaw says of the track and accompanying video:
When I wrote ‘Your Love’, I was listening to a lot of old Memphis rap, like Three 6 Mafia and Project Pat. I genuinely loved producing this song, and am obsessed with the energy that the Gangsta Pat sample brings.
I shot the Your Love video in Tasmania with my friends James Robinson (Director) and Amy Dellar (Cinematographer). My favourite shots are in the final scene – it was 1am and we spontaneously decided to shoot on the football field. And then the sprinklers came on and it was magic.
Shaw’s skill is, as ever, in her clear eyed lyricism that is touched with a bittersweet blush and delivered with the most touching melodies:
I know your type, what you likes
A young corpse bride, cold as ice
I’m alive but I’m on fire
If that’s alright, I want
Your love, your love, your love, your love
The video has a beautiful simple expression as it follows Mallrat around in the faltering light unique to Tasmania – grainy shots with dizzy movements create a sense of abandoned freedom.
‘Surprise Me (featuring Azealia Banks)’ is pure pop leavened by the rough rap interlude of Azealia Banks creating a contrast, light and shade.
‘Teeth’ and ‘Rockstar’ in contrast are a rougher hewn indie rock anthems: jangling guitars and scaling melodies filled with a driving power.
Wistful pop features frequently – ‘I’m Not My Body, It’s Mine’ with its wailing guitars is quiet and reflective with Shaw’s delicious observational lyrics.
A recurring theme of butterflies – the heart achingly beautiful ‘Heart Guitar’ and ‘Obsessed’ and of course the final title track – reflects Shaws obsession with the insect:
The transformation they undergo is almost incomprehensible. They dissolve into goo and then reconstruct themselves – but hold onto the memories of their time as a caterpillar.
Indeed ‘Butterfly Blue’, the final track is a beautiful ballad that recounts a strong love: delicate and yearning, floating high in the ether.
Indeed there is a sense of Mallrat evolving and maturing in this album, creating in the process something quite magnificent and transfixing. At the heart of this album is pure unadulterated pop: shimmering glowing tracks that emit rays of golden sunshine that showcase Shaw’s beautiful vocals and poetry. Her voice has the range and velvet tones of Dusty Springfield: soft and yet powerful in delivery.
‘Butterfly Blue’ is out now and available download and stream here.
Mallrat is currently touring throughout UK and Europe at the moment – check here for details and tickets.