Welcome to LA
From Melbourne to Los Angeles, Banoffee captures the journey not only through a new city but through the aftermath of a self-described mental breakdown in her debut album Look At Us Now Dad. With 10 tracks and four interludes, the project’s songs are immersed in an electronic influence. Defining the genre of this album is no easy task. It leans more toward the pop side but has just the right dash of abnormalities and deviations to stray some away from throwing the pop label on it. No matter what genre it ultimately classifies as, the songs that makeup LAUND are beautifully exploratory. If her sound had to be compared to anyone, a good place to start would be with Lauv, the artist best known for his song “I Like Me Better.”
It is evident that each song has been carefully crafted to serve a specific, deeply personal purpose. There’s a lingering, handcrafted feeling, the same feeling you get when you can tell if a box of cookies is homemade or store-bought. This feeling of intimacy comes from the subject matter of the songs, subjects that are not for the faint of heart. The album’s main themes and focuses are heartbreak, finding self-love and addiction. In other words, we are watching Banoffee figure out how to process her trauma.
We see this in the song “Permission” which (in the best way possible) horrifyingly upsetting. One listen will force every emotion buried in the deepest darkest places out into the light of day to be dealt with right then and there. It is also one of the heaviest uses of vocal synthesizers on the album, including a distinguishable autotune and vocoder.
The album isn’t all anguish. In fact, it is mostly upbeat in nature despite the heavy content and back story of the album. The album’s first track “Tennis Fan” sounds like something that plays over a spring break beach vacation video montage. Even the track “Contagious” is rather lively in nature despite having incredibly heartbreaking lyrics. For a song that lacks in specifics, only including one (a White Mitsubishi), the lyrics avoid clichés and tired phrases and instead provide us with a new way of looking at a very common situation: not being good enough for someone, anyone, ourselves.
In the two years since moving to a whole new country, Banoffee created what would become her debut album. It’s genuine, developed, and it’s refreshing. It’s filled with songs that are perfect for both an easy background noise and a centerstage spotlight.