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Liska’s EP It Girl Brings a Messy Bedroom to Your Headphones

On November 3rd, Liska, a Chicago-based musician, released her third EP It Girl. I attended her EP release show at a local music venue, Sleeping Village, and spoke to the it girl herself on a sleepy Friday morning. Liska is a joy to watch. She sported lacy tights, a black mini skirt, a Billabong tank top, and sparkly Mary Janes, reminiscent of Dorothy’s iconic red shoes. The show was intimate and tight-knit, a staple of the Chicago music scene, which Liska describes as “supportive and genuine.”

To Liska, music seemed to be destined in her blood, the stars, and her ten-year-old mind. She grew up around a family of musicians, where the music studio was her playpen. Liska says, “I grew up around working musicians–my grandfather, my father, and my uncles…I kind of only wanted to make music since I was ten years old, and I thought I was going to drop out of school and become Hannah Montana one day.” Although no one can deny the stardom of Hannah Montana, Liska now gets her artistic sound from artists like Gwen Stefani and Charli XCX. Her inspiration from these two iconic artists certainly shows in her music. Liska has an early 2000s snarl that feels like the perfect combination of Letters to Cleo, The Cardigans, and Gwen Stefani. Her slightly off-kilter voice combined with poppy tracks is something that the music industry has been missing. Liska delivers a modern twist of late 90s/early 2000s dream indie pop with a self-proclaimed “sassy, maybe delicate, and rock-ish” sound topped with a neat bow.

It Girl as a whole, is an EP that feels like a messy bedroom, marked by a night out. The upbeat, bubbly, and fun lyrics and tone of the EP are a 20-something necessity. It reminds me of messy eyeliner, hair tossing back and forth, heels pacing the apartment looking for that one set of earrings that “I’m sure are somewhere.” Liska manages to balance dreamy, shoegaze in her opening track, “Infinity,” and early 2000s pop with the track “Aura.” Liska describes the EP as a “stream of consciousness, almost all of these songs existed independently before I knew there was going to be an EP.” She manages to stitch and intertwine her stream into an EP that flows and flows. It Girl is easy to listen to, so much so that I haven’t realized until now that it has been playing in my ears for the past hour.

In her third EP, Liska wanted to take her music into a more professional direction, while staying true to a sound she believes in. She says, “I still have the same kind of squeaky voice, and I still allow myself to explore a lot of different genres…but I think I think I try to focus more on little things like enunciation and think more strategically about certain melodies I’m making, so they can stand next to bigger pop songs.” Liska’s last track, “It Girl,” is the biggest marker of this switch. She plays with modern callbacks from Mean Girls to Bella Hadid while standing in her own spotlight. “It’s all a mindset/That’s how I like it/My pov takes center stage.”

Liska is an artist that is bringing back all of the best parts of 2000s music. If you are looking for an EP to help you step out for a new day, It Girl is what you need. When I asked Liska in Tonitruale fashion, what her “loudest opinion” was, she responded, “Nobody gives a fuck about you, nobody’s thinking about you, in the sense that it’s just like do your own thing, do what you want to do, don’t be self-centered of course, but I think it’s important to just not care.” Liska’s show and album are a reminder of this loud opinion. Her work is full of life, dance tunes, catchy lyrics, and dreamy sounds. She makes you want to grab your friends, jump up and down, be messy and loud, and dance like an idiot or the coolest rockstar in the world. No need to click your iridescent Mary Jane’s Liska, unlike Dorothy, you’re already home.


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