24th June, 2022
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Critiquing Albums Like I Could Make Anything Better: Butterfly Blue by Mallrat

Critiquing Albums Like I Could Make Anything Better: Butterfly Blue by Mallrat

This entry is part 12 of 14 in the series:
Critiquing Albums Like I Could Make Anything Better

Years ago, a friend of mine sent me a Spotify link to a song named ‘Groceries’ by Mallrat. An artist who I soon after became entirely and utterly in love with. Mallrat had released three stellar EPs, a handful of iconic singles and features, and finally, at long last, her debut album. Butterly Blue comes at an apex of Mallrat’s career – not by any means her peak, but this record definately marks the beginning of a more concise, characteristic era of the Brisbane musician’s career.

Mallrat has progressively grown into her style following the release of her record setting, tear jerking track “Charlie” back in 2019. This album results from years of work and growth, and it feels as though she’s found her feet in this style. Before release, she told Rolling Stone, “my biggest passion is making a song perfect, and that’s all I can think about. I have had tunnel vision on that for a bit. And then it’s like, “OK, that’s done, now onto the next song. I’m going to make that perfect”, and this record is genuinely a testament to that sentiment.

The entire album is only 36 mins and 18 seconds long – but it’s a masterpiece in a shoebox and more than worth your time. Mallrat’s soft girl with an electronic edge aesthetic is intoxicatingly interesting and ever-refreshing. Butterly Blue is your sweetest daydream with a dance track, and I can confirm you’ll adore every second.

Track List:
Wish On An Eyelash

Mallrat has a knack for making a great intro track, and this track is no different. The intro track from her last EP, “Driving Music”, aptly named “Intro”, is similarly just a great first track for that record. Wish On An Eyelash is a synthy, sleepy daydream tune that gets you in the right headspace for the rest of the album.

when we leave all the parties
When we’re not in our bodies
When we’re up in a spaceship
That’s when I feel the greatest
I made a wish on an eyelash
Made a wish on elevens
Made a wish on my birthday
Talk about you to heaven

To You

To You is one of my less loved tracks from this album – it’s a great song by all means, but there’s nothing particularly grabbing about it to be compared to the rest of the songs here. It’s a song that sonically makes sense on this record – it’s dreamy and atmospherically sweet. I like the dial-down sound at the end that leads nicely into the next song.

My lovin’ is gone to waste
But I’ve got a lot to give
And that’s how I like to live

Surprise Me

I’ve had this track on repeat since she released it as a single sometime before dropping this album. Azealia Banks is a surprisingly suited feature for this album, given the slight edge of an otherwise dreamy ethos. Also, Azealia’s verse is hilarious, and it’s a great song to listen to when you need to get things done.

I squirted on him like a squid, now he inky faced
He said my pussy was tighter than Nicole Kidman’s face, yeah

Your Love

Mallrat dropped this track a while ago – it feels like a natural succession from early tracks like ‘uninvited’, which she put out way back in 2016. Mallrat is handy where you might only vibe with her more gentle, heartfelt tracks or her more electro-pop, mix master legend work, and if you like stuff in between, this album is perfect. I remember not liking this song at first, but I think it took some getting used to. The outro to this song is a mixed sample from Gangsta Pat’s Killa, pt.2, and it’s my favourite part of the song.

And I know that you wanted me like her
In the palm of your hand like a lighter
All the lights make me want to be lighter
I don’t care if I’m wrong, I’m a writer

Heart Guitar

This is one of my favourite tracks from this album, lyrically speaking. Mallrat told Rolling Stone that she’s “always valued music that is interesting, beautiful and unpretentious, something timeless and not reactive. Butterfly Blue was made with that in mind. It’s a demonstration of not pretending to be anyone else.”.

I think this idea really shines through with this track. Mallrat has a huge talent for avoiding lyrical cliches and writing from a genuine, matter-of-fact emotional viewpoint without sacrificing vulnerability. Her lyrics dont need flashy metaphors, fancy words or impressive bars to be personable and meaningful. She writes lyrics in a way that makes you feel like you’re best friends.

I feel you standin’ at my door
I hear your footsteps
Know how your keys when you’re gettin’ close, and
I hear your car drive down my road
It’s nothing fancy, but I love how it sounds when you come home

Teeth

‘Teeth’ is also a great song lyrically, and it reminds me of ‘When I Get My Braces Off’, from her 2019 EP Driving Music, but grown up. In ways, this album is a natural progression/culmination of her past work, and fans undoubtedly feel a sense of comradery and pride around it.

It’s in my hair, in my sleep
In my hands, in my teeth
It’s in my chair, it looks like me
And when it stands, I take my seat
It’s in the air that I breathe
Understand it’s up my sleeve
Well, in my hair, it’s in my sleep
With my hands, in my teeth

Rockstar

I forgot about this song because she released it so long ago, but it’s still a banger, and I’m glad it makes sense on this album. She is the rockstar, as mentioned earlier, to fall in love with.

I get you high, you roll me up in your Backwoods
I’m moving forward while you’re slipping on backwards
It breaks my heart, oh baby, baby, you’re tragic
Don’t think you’re slick for cashing in on my magic

I’m Not My Body, It’s Mine

The title reminds me of that interlude on Billie Eilish’s Happier Than Ever album. I love the title, and I’m not sure what the song is about – but I love that. It reminds me of a Girl In Red song in terms of the acoustics.

I stand on the roof, it’s a great height
I hand you the proof, it’s a steak knife
Green could be blue, in the same light
What if we leave on the same night?

Obsessed

I love the pace of this one; it’s a colossal pump up simp jam. I think that it’s very inventive melodically, and I appreciate the repetitive nod to the butterfly in tracks throughout the album.

Yeah I’d fall down on cement
Just to show you what I meant
And I’m quickly losing track of all the money that I spent
Well, nothing’s really free except the thing I really need

Arm’s Length

In the best way, this song sounds like an original song you hear at an open-mic pub night, and you can’t stop thinking about it for weeks. Except, of course, you have the luxury of finding it on streaming services.

I just bought a wedding dress
I know you haven’t askеd me yet
But when you do, I might say yes

Butterfly Blue

There’s something awesome about making the title track the closing track on an album, and it’s like getting to the end of an essay you wrote precisely right.

Drank way too much coffee in the afternoon
And stare at some screen, and then that light is so blue
So it’s not your fault when I dream about you
And it’s not her fault when I’m mean and I’m rude
And it’s not her fault that she’s sweet and so cute
And it’s not her fault that you made me feel used

Track Ranking:
  1. Teeth
  2. Heart Guitar
  3. Surprise Me
  4. Rockstar
  5. Wish On An Eyelash
  6. Your Love
  7. Obsessed
  8. I’m Not My Body, It’s Mine
  9. To You
  10. Arm’s Length
  11. Butterfly Blue

“What’s a rat doing at the mall anyway?”

Tyneesha Williams

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