Picture a bubblegum-pink pop princess – but pulling the finger. London-based singer Starling returns from her hiatus with the release of her new EP where attitude amalgamates with sugary, candy pop to create something edgy, distinctive, and discernibly raw. Following the release of its single which pulls back on mainstream pop pretense to expose a certain authenticity and fragility.
“‘The Soul’ marks the truth exploding out of me – power, fragility, change – I’m growing up and I’m braver than before. I’m not bound by my fear or my broken heart so much. I would almost say it’s sugary which is saying something, as my previous two EP’s have been dark as. I’ve evolved and so has the story, the sound,” Starling explained.
Featuring two new pop singles ‘All The Way’ and ‘Pink Wallpaper,’ ‘The Soul’ undoubtedly chronicles a period of intense change for Starling. The assertive strength of “It’s a new day, I’m finally free, and I can do anything,” compared to the vulnerable “Maybe I was too young and afraid” in the track ‘All The Way’ certifies this new sense of unbound power for the vocalist. Motivational and assured, ‘All The Way’ details Starling’s initial struggle overcoming her fear of taking the leap as a singer. “‘All The Way’ is about the fear I had around singing and why I only started singing four years ago. I was too nervous, I never thought I could do it, and this song tells the story and shows the freedom we can feel if we can only let our bravery lead us to the treasure. That’s the gift of fear; I know now it’s a signpost, it’s not all bad, if I’m scared to do something there’s probably gold in it, so I just take the sign, breathe deep and do it. This is like this for me with my voice, finally I can stand on stage and show myself.”
‘Pink Wallpaper’ paints a different picture, with Starling calling it her closest version of a love song to date. “My heart is still not entirely open but it’s healthier; here I’m saying I know we’re up and down and I know I can be insecure, but my love is real and I’ll be your loyal queen if you let me.”
Similar to that of its confectionary namesake, the EP’s single ‘Profiteroles’ is sweet, creamy, and good for the soul as it captures the EP’s thematic journey from vulnerable restriction, to confidence and freedom. “‘Profiteroles’ is a gift to my sister to tell her that something good can come of something bad. We can all get through anything, if we have each other. This was our journey and this little ditty shows the silver lining of breaking free from our history.” Produced by Henry Binns (Zero 7), ‘Profiteroles’ is distinctive alt-pop at its finest, capturing an arty, indie vibe similar to that of her influence Florence and the Machine. Fans of Lorde would also enjoy this track. The music video, directed and produced by Tim Hyland and Luke Courtenay Smith, encapsulates Starling’s love of vibrant art through brightly-coloured costume and dance, alongside acute “Englishness”. “We filmed in this old wonky high street to symbolise the journey from restriction to freedom and dance is an extension of that, as is the open beach,” she explains.
‘The Soul EP’ makes the trilogy as a follow-up to both 2016’s ‘The Heart EP’ as well as 2017’s ‘The Body EP.’ Last year’s ‘The Body’ garnered Starling support from Radio 1, XFM, BBC Radio 2, Wonderland Magazine, and The 405, amongst others. As noted by Wonderland Magazine, Starling is ultimately London’s own “pop princess who DGAF.”
Starling is performing on September 26th at The Waiting Room in London – get your tickets here.