Search The Line of Best Fit
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Hallie’s This Is Love is a complex exploration of queer relationships

"This Is Love"

Release date: 03 February 2023
Hallie This Is Love Album Artwork
03 February 2023, 11:30 Written by Matthew Kim

It’s a tough challenge to name your EP This is Love. Not only is it one of the most overused names in pop music, but it promises comprehension; a deep, introspective analysis of one of our most complex feelings – but Aussie youngster Hallie might just be ready to take that challenge on; and they have a lot to say.

For most artists, it’s easy for a musical release about love to become cliché. To be certain, This is Love doesn’t dodge that bullet entirely. Especially on tracks like “Do It,” where its musings on infatuation feel like they’ve been said before. However This is Love feels real, complex, like it actually happened – a feat that few relationship-focused projects actually manage to reach. On the acoustic closer “Labelless,” for example, Hallie reflects on polyamorous romance, queerness, and the cognitive dissonance of toxic relationships – unwieldy topics to handle in a song that barely cracks two minutes in length, but it works. For an EP as short as this one, it’s surprising how nuanced Hallie is.

Despite its lyrical dexterity, This is Love isn’t musically innovative by any stretch. The indie-rock and indie-pop instrumentals go up and down in all the right places, and little about them is surprising. But, at the same time, not every musician needs a grand, avant-garde musical statement to put together a solid project. The indie-pop-rock-throwback à la Olivia Rodrigo formula works, and it creates some damn good tunes. On opener “Do It,” walls of power-pop guitars blare over Hallie’s crisp vocals on the chorus, and it’s absolutely glorious. “Shift The Focus” is a tempered, mellow indie ballad about the joy of being in the moment with someone you love, even when the relationship is unlikely to last, and it’s as light and bittersweet as any song about temporal love should be. Not to mention that Hallie’s melodies and vocals are consistently wonderful across this project; I found myself humming their songs, even after only having heard them a couple times.

Overall, the spotlight of This is Love is on Hallie herself. Its mixture of indie-pop stylings and 2000s nostalgia works well, even if it’s a little trite. But Hallie’s personal, genuine reflections on everything from platonic affection to queer imposter syndrome to open relationships are the greatest aspects of the EP. This is Love, more than anything, feels like an exercise in self-discovery and healing – in truly learning, again, what love is – and, on that front, it’s exceptional.

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