The phrase 'pop sensibility' keeps popping into my mind. I'm not sure why. If there is any sensibility to speak of, it's the decision Rachel Costanzo made to enlist MSquared Productions (Michael Paynter and Michel Delo) to produce her EP. I've a sneaking suspicion that ever since the super-friendly starlet told me she "looooooooves pop music", those two words have been planted firmly into my musical subconscious. Along with the times I got fascinated by K-pop (Korean pop), the 'pop princess' movement of Kylie and those damn, addictive pop culture quizzes.
This five track self-titled EP is a refreshing dive into this seventeen year old's music world. With four dance tracks and one slower pop ballad 'Avalanche', the trademark rhythms and infectious beats of MSquared lend achingly well to Costanzo's enriching melodies. Blindside and Starlight are floor fillers - tracks to backdrop a youthful summer. Catchy anthems for living out a carefree dream. As Costanzo explains, Starlight sums up what she likes to do best "Have fun, see friends, hang out with my boyfriend, family time all of those teenage things...'" The remix of Starlight by Marcus Santoro is worth checking out too, "he did a really good job of that."
The EP reflects the infectious beats and 'made for radio pop music' the young singer is so fond of. Second to Blindside, I'm a fan of Avalanche's heart wrenching, evocative feel. Costanzo's exquisite vocals really shine through and it's a perfect counter to the amped up dance tracks. Of which, Invisible features Paynter – a slightly more bolder tone than the other dance tracks. The depth of Avalanche is a really poignant and sweet way to wrap the EP up, "even when you feel like hope is gone … let the Avalanche bring you home … let love crash down." There's an intensity to her singing, it adds to the yearning of the lyrics and the wistful nature of the tune. This is an exciting release for Costanzo and I'm keen to see more of her songs come through.