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Mallrat – Butterfly Blue

mallrat butterfly blue artwork

Mallrat’s debut LP flutters like its Butterfly Blue moniker between the dark and the light, the sweet and the sour. Her vocals are as lustrous as a glacé cherry, but sit atop a jet-black sundae of reverb and feedback. The synths are summer sky, and the distorted guitars are the gravelly tarmac beneath. Even Mallrat’s aesthetics reflect this duality; the ‘bunny video’ for ‘Rockstar’ combines pastel-coloured rabbits, sparkles, and death metal style typography. The very name ‘Mallrat’ is incongruity – the shiny, clean, consumerism of shopping malls versus the ever-vilified rat.


The Azealia Banks feature, then, as sore-thumb-ish as it is, could be tentatively argued for as another contribution to the sweet/sour intentions of Butterfly Blue. Banks’ jarring verse in ‘Surprise Me’ does work to emphasise Mallrat’s seemingly unflappable cool on all the rest of the album. A feature from one of the most widely lambasted rappers around is certainly a controversial decision, especially on a first album. Though, it can’t be argued that it doesn’t draw attention; it’s commanded a whole paragraph here.


There are, admittedly, small moments in which Butterfly Blue’s wingbeat faltersThe two-word chorus of ‘Your Love’ (those two words, unsurprisingly, being ‘your’ and ‘love’) grates a little by the end, and occasionally the otherwise powerfully uncomplicated lyrics lean into emptiness. Overall, though, the butterfly is resolute; Mallrat has created an album unified both by its tight production and by its consistent polarities. There is no chrysalis-hesitation on this debut.


Lasting Appeal


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Elise Price

Elise Price is a freelance music journalist for Indie Is Not A Genre.

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