Raissa has a fascinating story. Born in Spain before growing up in Beijing, Sydney and Kuala Lumpur, the 23 year old singer and songwriter has clearly taken all the inspiration she found during her time all over the world to channel the fascination with what she experienced into her art. The initial outcome of her intellectual and artistic curiosity is her wonderful new EP HEROGIRL. The record is an intriguing insight into Rassia’s world. A journey that transpires without cynicism and embraces a charming naivety that showcases love instead of misery. That’s not to say the EP lacks gravitas, in fact it is the opposite. A kaleidoscopic exploration into highs and lows of what it feels like to be young and alive.
The journey kicks off with “GO FAST BABY” and Rassia’s smooth vocal delivery inflecting the line, “Spark me up/I’m your blunt” over dramatic string synths and a room shaking sub bass. The production is effortlessly minimal until the beat kicks in and it becomes, for a moment, a high flying banger until it gently floats back down to earth. The record firmly sits under the pop umbrella but it isn’t content to settle into any one genre.”CROWDED” settles into its groove with an arpeggiated guitar and Rassia’s skipping rope vocal melody. The whole proceeding builds into an expertly crafted pre chorus, dripping with tension, as she sings, “Don’t ask me why I’m frowning/My heart always feels crowded” before the tension breaks into a million wonderful pieces and the soaring chorus kicks in. “COLD FEET” is subtly moody and showcases Raissa’s playful melodic sense. It feels like a perfect blend of Charli XCX and The Japanese House. Things start to feel a little more sci-fi esque with the boomy and bouncy “SHADES ON”. One of the more interesting aspects of the record’s production is that it may take you a listen or two to realize that the drums are so minimal in the mix but it never lacks groove as Raissa herself seems to be doing all the heavy lifting with her urgent delivery.
HEROGIRL is a real delight. With the record coming out via Mark Ronson’s Zelig Records, the world should be hearing more of this delightful pop sensation. Raissa’s whole vibe may come off as a little naive but there is a maturity underlying her work that belies any saccharine sentiment. While the whole journey lasts only six songs, it leaves enough of an impression to make you want to come back for more and to keenly anticipate where she will take us next.