Aerial East - 'Try Harder'

8/10

Having been raised as the daughter of a military man, singer and songwriter Aerial East never really found a home when she was growing up. Moving across various cities in Europe and Texas throughout her adolescence left her with an unquestionable identity crisis where she never really felt comfortable anywhere. But since moving to New York, she has found a vessel in which to emit these complicated emotions and has now transcribed them into this new collection 'Try Harder', a record that centres around self-discovery and coming to terms with the way of the world.

What seems most striking about this new full-length is just how quiet and humble Aerial East is looking to be. With a sparsely arranged production and next to no instrumental backing, the album focuses solely on the beautiful vocals at its heart, instantly creating a warm and intimate release from start to finish. And while many of these songs look to reference experiences in her own life, we feel like we understand her confusion and insecurity as if we experienced it ourself. Rather than look to reflect our own lives back to us, she invites us into her world to somehow absorb the fragile delicacy of her existence.

An extremely inviting and captivating record throughout, 'Try Harder' is one of those rare gems we hardly see anymore. Something that has true commitment and drive behind it that seldom seeks approval from its audience. In a sense, this is Aerial East at her most raw and exposed, something that impossible to ignore or brush away.

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