Label: Heist or Hit
Released: 16th July 2021
Liam Brown, aka Pizzagirl, is back with his second album, ‘Softcore Mourn’, a record that is equal parts derisive, absurd, and simply sad.
The album blends alt-pop with a ruminative feel, swept along by buzzing synths and a 00s emo undercurrent. Opening and eponymous track ‘Softcore Mourn’ has the feel of neon-lit urban landscapes and the soft blur of a nightlife timelapse, a trend folded throughout. It wouldn’t be out of place soundtracking montages in high school series like The OC or One Tree Hill, matching tripping dance beats with jaded vocals, bundled up with an electronic treatment.
The surreal, hyper-pop edge of ‘Bullet Train’ will leave you dizzy, vertigo whirling in your head, while the dual humour and sweetly perfumed trauma interlaced in ‘Your Flat Earth Brother’ proves typical of an album that hides melancholy behind distorted guitars and biting lyricism. The tripping indie veneer masks wearied outlooks and dark nuggets of self-doubt, anxieties present in every speeding synth or guitar line. The cinematic mood of ‘Golden Ratio’ is underpinned by its orchestral tinge, though the song’s sad undercurrent continually threatens to pull you under. Its successive track, ‘Moreno’, breathes a little more freely and that the orchestral edge is able to gain some more ground, liberated by the more positive feel.
It’s not until the final track, ‘Download the Pain’, that we are finally able to catch a breath, a disarmingly gentle closer that again sweetens melancholy with wit, full of Liam’s trademark lyrical gems that glitter throughout his vibrant soundscapes. ‘Softcore Mourn’ is a memoir of the kind of sadness alluded to as a joke but never confronted head-on, and as such, remains both charmingly and unnervingly human.