Photo: Bobby Banks
"It's really about me just sticking it to that motherfucker," the succinct and painfully honest remarks helps to inform the exhilarating world of Gen Z artist Chloe Lilac's sophomore EP, DOUCHEBAG. While the biting statement perfectly surmises the EP's titular track, similar themes of female empowerment permeate Lilac's electrifying vision of a new era of pop punk. One where teenage heartbreak and bittersweet reflections take on an earth-shattering, impossible to ignore weight.
For all its latter early-mid 2000s pop punk-reminiscent flair, DOUCHEBAG opens in unassuming fashion. "OBVIOUS" sees Lilac's wearing her heart on her sleeve, as empathic vocals flit between restrained pop stunner and powerful ballad. The delicate soundscape of "OBVIOUS" makes what is next in store all the more surprising.
The ensuing "HERE'S YOUR SONG" hints at the first promise of Lilac as a genuine bridge between the massive commercial appeal of pop and the genuine pathos of pop punk. It is an initial promise that wastes no time in seeing itself fully-realized, as Lilac jumps headfirst into the EP's titular track.
"DOUCHEBAG" feels like something ripped straight out of an early 2000s dream. Electric guitars clash with an infectious chorus, building a track perfectly apt to soundtrack your lowest lows and cathartic highs. The ensuing emotional rollercoaster doesn't lose any momentum, with "MODERATION" arriving as a track directly counter to its namesake. In less than three minutes, Lilac makes nods to the aftermath of a breakup, hookup culture, Satan, and living life on the brink. It's an infectious teenage fever dream and every suburban mom's worst nightmare.
The only feature on the EP comes in the form of "MISS YOU," an intoxicating collaboration that sees New York hip-hop artist Kota the Friend delivering a standout verse. The unexpected pairing results in a standout moment in an EP already brimming with such. Lilac spoke further on her sophomore EP, sharing,
"As a young woman I'm so conditioned to just take what men give me and thank them for it. These songs on my EP are about empowering myself and my listeners to give them strength to manifest confidence. It's for myself and for them. It's both."
Listen to DOUCHEBAG below: