Review Summary: cool kids only
With any debut EP, the trick is to stand out from the crowd. Flora Billen's bedroom-pop musings may stray too close to inspirations Soccer Mommy and Clairo, both in their 90s alt-pop aesthetic and murmured vocals, but the attention to detail in both the production and songwriting engage the listener from the start. Not every melody flails in your face; not every instrument fights for attention. With her father producing and older brother on guitar, Flora's tunes cement into a surprisingly solid collection of songs on her debut EP. Whether it be through the opener's gentle synths, standout "Magic Eraser"'s dip into americana during its coda, or "Better Off Alone"'s notably less successful punk stomp, each track signifies another side to Flora's sound—and her potential as an artist.
is clearly a labor of love, both for Flora and her family. In the release's marketing, her father paints the project's story as one of reconnection and support, of discovering a way to communicate with those you love beyond words. The EP indeed relies much on her kin's collaboration, but Flora is unquestionably the star of the show here. Her musings on love and life never ring hollow, as her vocals weaponize her own naivety in the most charming of ways. At 13 years old, one of the hardest things to do is finding your voice—Flora is figuring it out a lot faster than most of us. In time, the confidence on display here may lead her to be a dominating force of her genre. But for now, we're just lucky she's here.