Brisbane and Queensland in general is undeniably a hotbed of talent, and one of the most preeminent examples of this is the pure pop musings of Grace Shaw, under the guise of Mallrat.
Mallrat’s new EP, ‘Drive’ is an evolution of the style and creativity of this phenomenal artist. Back in February 2018, we reviewed ‘UFO’, noting Shaw’s sweet pop melodies interspersed with a half-singing narrative. Here, in ‘Drive’ the inevitable melancholia of age creeps in – a kind of weariness that comes from knowledge and experience yet peppered with delightful hope and optimism. And she’s only twenty.
Mallrat’s strength comes from her observations of the minutiae of life – simple vignettes of the every day life of a Shaw-like protagonist, whether it be unrequited love in ‘Intro’ – Wanna hold your hand
But I just hold my tongue – or the defiance and insecurities of her younger self in ‘When I get my Braces Off’:
So yeah, I’m feeling lovely, wonder if you’ll love me
‘Cause I swear I can hear a voice that’s telling me I’m ugly
I say, “Shut the fuck up, I’m tougher than a boxer”
When I get my braces off, I’m gonna be a rockstar
Single ‘Charlie’, reviewed by me earlier this year, is the most musically evolved with its crystalline piano and wistful lyrics, seeking the same faithful devotion from her lover as her beloved family Labrador, Charlie:
‘Drive Me Round’ is a gorgeous palimpsest of life in the Australian Sunshine State, carefree open air driving across wide open and empty spaces hopelessly in love.
You can hear Courtney Barnett, you can hear Lilly Allen but ultimately Mallrat is all Grace Shaw. delicate nuanced vocals, endearingly personal lyrics and an earful of heart-catching melody.
Mallrat now spends her time between Melbourne and Los Angeles, and this distance from home – a feeling all Australians experience as they grow older and travel as a rite of passage – is perfectly captured in the sweet and bitter musings of a very talented artist.
I saw Mallrat live at the recent Dark Mofo Festival in Hobart, Tasmanian and was instantly enthralled by the sheer energy and joy of her performance. This is a global superstar in the making.
You can get Driving Music here and catch Mallrat on tour at the following places in the US:
9/18 // Chicago, IL // Subterranean
9/19 // Pontiac, MI // The Pike Room
9/20 // Toronto, ON // Velvet Underground9/22 // Montreal, QB @ Le Ministere
9/24 // Philadelphia, PA // Voltage Lounge
9/26 // Washington, DC // DC9
9/27 // Cambridge, MA // Middle East Upstairs
9/28 // Brooklyn, NY // Baby’s All Right
10/3 // Vancouver, BC // Fox Cabaret
10/4 // Seattle, WA // Barboza
10/5 // Portland, OR // Holocene
10/8 // Santa Ana, CA // Constellation Room
10/9 // Los Angeles, CA // The Echo
10/11 // San Francisco, CA // Rickshaw Stop
10/13 // Austin, TX // Austin City Limits Music Festival*
* Mallrat only