Eilis Frawley – Adult Life (Reckless Yes)

Eilis Frawley – Adult Life (Reckless Yes)

Following her debut EP released in early 2020 Berlin-based Eilis Frawley has released a second EP, Adult Life, of brilliant and brave avant-garde electropop through UK independent label Reckless Yes. 

Artist: Eilis Frawley
Release: Adult Life EP
Label: Reckless Yes
Released: 23 October 2020
Find it: Bandcamp | Spotify

Eilis Frawley by Janina Gallert

Eilis Frawley’s path to solo artistry sounds is a blend of the fantastic and the sublime: the Australian is a Conservatoire-trained percussionist now resident in Berlin, via a stint playing in DIY bands around South Korea, and discovered her avant-garde solo sound as part of a job application to join the circus. The role didn’t come off but instead she’s lent into the mix of drums, samples and spoken word and now delivers us a second EP of her deeply feminist tracks.

In Frawley’s music the personal is most certainly political as she intones facts or questions or bluntly – and certainly bravely – recounts her own experiences to reflect on the broader challenges of being a woman in society, as well as the times we find ourselves living in and the ephemeral nature of modern connections. In truth there is little around which sounds like Frawley – from the complex but clean rhythms, the melodic samples and synths building depth around the beats, and the distinctive vocal making this music seem more like a conversation than a sermon.

We said of singles Stats, it is “unflinching in theme…playfully creative in melodic tone” and Darkest Truth, “equal parts a brave and brilliant release, giving no space in which to turn from this lived experience, and powerfully bringing into sharp focus the reality of #metoo for those who’d rather keep the movement oblique.” Both tracks are included in the cut-down four-track edition available via streaming platforms – a small kickback against the #brokenrecord nature of streaming and an encouragement to re-establish a link between listener and musician.

Of the tracks available only through Bandcamp or on the physical release Louise is a stand-out. With twinkling lullaby notes, and washes of synths building, with an anxious heartbeat rhythm underlining the lyrics of loneliness, of the curated life we present online with the illusion of connection while trying to deny the inescapable love we crave and lack, the small but overwhelming nature of everyday life. Lyrically intimate yet ubiquitous, understated yet assured – there is real skill in the shaping of these tracks.

Debut EP Never Too Emotional showed Frawley as one of the most exciting and innovative artists to emerge this year and Adult Life solidifies that position. A challenging listen, a necessary listen, and coming so early in Frawley’s career a listen which is thrillingly complex and complete musically, while also vital commentary on where we find ourselves as a civilisation.

Adult Life is out now on Reckless Yes. CD and full 7 track EP is available through Bandcamp, with 4 tracks available on other streaming and download platforms. You can also read our reviews of singles Stats and Darkest Truth.

Find Eilis Frawley: Facebook | Instagram | Bandcamp | Spotify
Image: Janina Gallert

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* Disclaimer: Sarah Lay is co-founder of Reckless Yes so is partially responsible for the release of this EP. However, she would only release or write about music she really loved so this is more about enthusiasm for great music, and great artists than it is touting her own wares.

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Sarah Lay

Sarah Lay is editor of Popoptica.
A long-standing music journalist she's also co-founder of independent record label Reckless Yes, an author of novels, and when not messing around with words and music, a digital strategist.
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