Album Review: Beach Bunny – Prom Queen

Posted: by The Editor

Beach Bunny’s sound is soaked in dreamy, surf-pop but resides in the concrete jungle that is Chicago. But Beach Bunny,  crafted by Lili Trifilio, proves that sound is only a state of mind through her new EP, Prom Queen.

Being only a five-track record, Trifilio doesn’t waste any time jumping into topics ranging from toxic hyper-femininity, relationship struggles, and the realities of becoming an adult. Her voice, reminiscent of that of Feist and Dido, is the perfect consistency of soft and tender that makes these subjects come alive.

Prom Queen blossoms with its title track. With a guitar driven record with simple musicality underneath a brash theme, Beach Bunny fights through the song as it highlights what is wrong with the ever-growing hyper-femininity in society. Viewed through the perspective of herself or the general young woman, the lyrics revolve around insecurities and the stereotypical mold of beauty that society enjoys selling to us as a way of obtaining happiness. With Trifilio asking questions like, “If I’m pretty will you like me?”, “Prom Queen” hits these self-conscious thoughts every woman has asked herself. At one point she even begs, “Teach me how to be okay/ I don’t want to downplay my emotions.”

The prominent drums and heavy symbolism of “Painkiller” heads into deeper territory regarding relationship blues. Trifilio belts out in spite of feeling doubtful in who her partner was throughout their relationship. She symbolizes painkillers and prescription drugs as a regression caused by the emotional upheaval of the split. Coming from a point of similarity, myself, it’s incredibly easy to fall back into anxiety and depression after the fall from a partner. Throughout the beachy vibe of the track and the strong bass line near the latter half, she resonantly admits, “reconstructive surgery can’t fix my anxiety.”

Instrumental stand-out track “Goodbye Summer :(” features beach sound bites overlaid with a haunting musicality. Simple yet stirring in its delivery, Lili Trifilio’s swelling “oooo”s could be compared to that of a mythological siren. The song is a send-off to summer, treating the season as a love affair.

After the interlude, Prom Queen follows a louder surf-pop sound tied to melancholic lyrics. It’s catchy, fast-paced, and showcases Trifilio‘s vocal range as she hits a steady falsetto on the closing track. “6 Weeks” is Trifilio’s straining and pleading to get back together with a past lover as “Adulting” falls back on the existential crisis of growing up.

Throughout Prom Queen, Beach Bunny proves her talent with its airy sound and heavy content. Even the album’s artwork can represent the insides of the record -chasing youth and the youthful feel of relationships and self-esteem. Maybe the patched balloon even symbolizes Trifilio. Don’t miss out on this stellar Chicago act with California taste. Going over to Beach Bunny’s official Facebook page one can find a quote underneath the Personal Interests header that reads, “breaking hearts & building sandcastles.” That line can define the foundation of who Beach Bunny is and the music she creates.

Disappointing / Average / Good / Great / Phenomenal


Hope Ankney | @hope_ankleknee

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