Search The Line of Best Fit
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Starlane chronicles April’s cathartic move to the city


Release date: 21 October 2022
April Starlane Album Artwork
21 October 2022, 14:10 Written by Connor Shelton

In a year full of bright pop anthems and blockbuster albums, it’s easy to overlook the subtly groundbreaking work April has been doing.

She somehow got her start in 2020 amidst the collapse of the traditional music industry and managed to squeeze out a contract with Atlantic Records following her debut. It’s an inspiring success story, and one that no doubt helped April adapt to the vibrant environment of London, which has now bled into her new EP.

Starlane is April’s reflection of the social upheaval she experienced. It’s a notably bipolar release, drawing as much from the works of Lana Del Ray as it does the hyper-pop club anthems that have slowly entered the mainstream (or at least, a certain part of it). This musical whiplash is evident in the opening track, “That Feeling,” which puts April’s voice centre stage to suggest a whimsical, dream-like state before the chorus crashes in like a wave and lets loose an infectious rave of keyboard bloops.

The push and pull at play in “That Feeling” is constant throughout the album, though it’s not always obvious. Tracks like “Distraction” sound like relatively straightforward ballads, yet a close examination of the lyrics reveal a more turgid affair. It’s hard to gauge what specific situation the song’s narrator is going through, but it’s clear they’re dealing with depression while at the same time, attempting to rationalise their headspace as healthy.

The lyrics throughout Starlane are cathartic, yet sometimes, the musical choices can hamper the emotional weight inherent in April’s words. “54321” is a prime example of this, wherein the singer’s frustrations with their partner are processed through some irritating chipmunk vocals that drive the chorus. It’s not the only time April uses this production technique, but on every other song, it’s done much more tastefully (most notably on “The Light”).

Despite some hiccups present on the EP, the record concludes with “So Good At Being Lonely.” The track works as a culmination of the alienation and anxiety that preceded the album, and it wraps it all up in a wonderful collage of hand claps, throbbing bass loops, and squeaky synth stabs.

Starlane is near masterful in its juxtaposition of exuberant melodies with contemplative narratives. The emotions that run throughout the record are sometimes lost in the wash of excitement of the music, but that only makes the music more thought provoking. Is the contrast meant to suggest that music can relieve listeners from the pain of reality, or is April merely using the club inspired backdrop to mask her turbulent headspace? There’s no way of knowing, but what can be ascertained is that April knows how to deliver anthems that will appeal to the current generation of listeners.

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