Alaska Reid has been walking the line between two musical worlds since she was 14. First, she was a folksy, middle-America singer-songwriter, gigging up and down LA’s sunset strip. Then she was the instigator and lead vocalist of rock project Alyska. Now, Reid is striking out on her own with debut EP Big Bunny.
Splitting her time between the bars and rodeos of Montana and the allure of LA, the duality here is obvious. The titular opener ‘Big Bunny’ is underwritten by chugging, grungy guitar chords with an abundance of fuzz, while Reid’s vocals soar and pirouette up above – sometimes a drawl, sometimes a flutter, sometimes barely more than a whisper. Then come the subtle synths, adding another layer into the nuanced concoction that Reid is making her own.
Meanwhile, latest single, ‘Warm’, is a tender exploration of Reid’s time in LA and the isolation she felt there. While ‘the kids… overdose’ on the alien streets around you, ‘Warm’ highlights how important strong bonds can be when you’re feeling otherwise alone. The whole EP shines with these kinds of outpourings of vulnerability, with each story powerfully personal and anecdotal, to the point where the EP feels almost confessional, sentimental. Like a tapestry of memories.
A constant fixture underneath Reid’s dextrous vocals is the production; layered and nuanced throughout, which switches between bassy, pounding synths and ethereal guitars from one moment to the next. Reid’s varied influences are there for all to see; one moment the tracks are thrashing and chugging, the next lilting. Partly produced by Reid herself, in conjunction with A. G. Cook (Charli XCX) and others, it all adds up to a diverse, multifaceted listen, whose tracks are constantly surprising.
Her musical influences are on full show here, and the content of her lyrics shines an affecting light on her personal history. After spending so much time trying to be something, Big Bunny sees Alaska Reid being her most authentic self, and that’s a very exciting prospect indeed.
Alaska’s Big Bunny EP is available to pre-order and pre-save now.