Following a diet of left-leaning pop production styles and glimmering synths, Grace Ives is putting out some refreshing fucking pop music unlike anything else. In 2016, she came out with her debut EP Really Hot where she molded the lo-fi tendencies of bedroom production into avant-garde methods that inspired a wide audience of aspiring producers and Ableton Live Torrent-ers. Over the course of the years, with her Roland MC-505 as her main confidente, she has stepped out of her bedroom and started working with Justin Raisen to expand her sound. What's the result? Janky Star, an eclectic yet concise album that shows the multiplicity of Grace's talents in their full force.
The opener Isn't It Lovely is the perfect track to welcome new listeners in. It keeps the vitality of Grace's previous works while keeping the driving pop sound intact. Burn Bridges is one of the best examples in this album to show how much she has grown over time. She is adding a fresh layer of newly-found influences through percussions and nuanced rhythmics. "Lazy day, it feels okay to repeat it / Slip into something just a little more revealing / Harder words, well, they're no longer deceiving / I like the search for the weight and the meaning" she sings in Lazy Day. It oozes with confidence and acceptance. The harmonic and calming nature of the track compliments the thematics of what's being said sonically. Shelly feels as if it had came out from fever dream filled with lust and love. It's a 2:51 minute long song containing a whole starry-eyed story behind it. In On The Ground she seems as confident as she can ever be. Her vocals go high up, high down and all over. It feels like a rush of blood to the ears with the poised drums and guitar riffs embellishing the track from left to right.
The closer track, Lullaby is a personal favorite. In Lullaby, we see that Grace is a homebound at heart, watching the same movies over and over again and finding comfort inside four walls of her home that fills up her world. She might have pushed her sound forward but the focal point and the heart of her music is the same; the genuinely of one's comfort zone and learning to live with yourself however hard it might get. Janky Star is one of the best albums of the year, showing us Grace's authentic expression in its full color.