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An in crescendo fanfare sound welcomes us to Throne of Mine, Michèle Ducray’s new EP, out today. That reference (the fanfare sound), often associated with the circus, speaks volumes of the artist’s love for contradictory concepts like horror and the colourful circus life. Just like her music, she bridges light and dark effortlessly. And this EP is just testament to that.

The awaited debut EP from the New Zealand-based artist is composed of four songs: Monster, Psycho, Ace of Spades and Throne of Mine. Michèle Ducray has been working on it tirelessly, and in her own words, it “showcases some pivotal times of my life.” Celebrated producer Liam Quinn (he’s also worked with Peaches and Rita Ora, among others) has been in charge of producing, mixing, and mastering it. Cheers to that! 

The four-track record explores personal memories and experiences such as the singer’s “childhood, bullying, and failed relationships” from a combination of dark and light pop perspectives. “It’s a deeply personal record and some parts were tough to record, but we got there in the end!,” the New Zealand-based artist celebrates.

In Monster, after the opening fanfare, we hear Michèle laugh candidly but also refer to a “sneaky little monster” and a “nasty little demon” who “stays a little longer just to feel your pain.” Again, we see the singer’s mix of light and dark, happy and sad. We continue with Psycho, a more rock song with heavy guitars and percussion, whose opening lyrics “Marilyn was a heroine addict / Marilyn, get out of my attic!” I personally interpret as a nod to discuss issues about addiction and mental health (she also mentions “Visions I can’t control,” so…).

The second half of the EP is a bit sweeter. Ace of Spades has a more electronic influence. Even though it’s not your typical club song, it feels more pop and radio-ready. It has a more romantic vibe to it, and it feels like the most ‘commercial’ of the four (even though it still has a very personal touch and sound that sets it apart from mainstream pop). We finish with Throne of Mine, which gives its name to the full EP. Michèle’s distorted voice carries on throughout the two-minute song, but it still feels personal thanks to lyrics like “The love of my mother carries me.”

In all, Michèle Ducray’s debut EP is great presentation letter. In just four songs, she explores different genres and sounds that, despite their diversity, still feel cohesive and unique. She’s a one to watch, so we’ll follow her closely. This might be the first time you hear from her, but definitely not the last one!

David Valero

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