Astrid S first caught attention with her hit single “Breathe” in 2017; a catchy pop song that borders on the EDM spectrum of music. With “Breathe”, Astrid S offered top-shelf production, great vocals that hardly seem overly manufactured in production / auto-tuned if at all, and lyric writing at a higher level than the typical pop artist. Basically, it was an awesome hint of things to come.
Since then, Astrid S has released notable pieces such as “Think Before I Talk”, a bop that is less-focused on the backing musical accompaniment and more centered on its lyrics and vocal melody, and “Emotion”, a massive track in terms of its wall-of-sound chorus and instrumental. Basically, Astrid S has shown how far she can range between loud, eccentric tracks, and songs that are slower and more stripped-down in terms of instrumentals and production. The results have been thoroughly enjoyable, as Astrid S has become one of my favorite current artists in the pop genre.
Trust Issues, the latest EP from Astrid S, kicks off with “Doing to Me”, a song that offers a steady beat throughout, never really rising or falling, but the chorus is really where this song takes off. The vocal melody of the chorus is an earworm and the instrumental emphasizes this wonderfully. The next track/title track, “Trust Issues” is the best song on the album. The song offers minimal musical accompaniment and focuses heavily on the smooth vocal performance and melody. A song about feeling unsteady in a relationship, this banger is almost anthemic in its relatability and insanely catchy chorus. This one is Astrid S at her best. While the instrumental picks up a bit towards the middle and ending choruses, it never goes over the top and you can hear the balance between the two.
“Emotion” is next; another heater with a catchy instrumental melody of horns, synths, and piano. The vocal performance is a pleasant blend of inflections, range, and some hints of falsetto. The fun whistle hook that appears here and there throughout is a welcome little addition as well.
“Someone New” and “The First One” close out the EP. While “Someone New” is somewhat weaker than the other tracks on Trust Issues, it is still a steady bop that you can’t help but bob your head or tap your foot to; the beat is just that good. Vocally, there is not as much in the way of range or diversity throughout this one. The melody is still catchy enough to keep you hooked, though. “The First One” is also on the weaker side of the 5 tracks on Trust Issues, but the vocals are more enjoyable than “Someone New”. The chorus might not be as catchy as “Someone New”, but it is still a well-developed piece.
Overall, Trust Issues is a satisfying EP as a whole, with a bop on every track. While 3 out of the 5 tracks slap harder than the others, this whole EP is just catchy chorus after catchy chorus and smooth verse after smooth verse. The lyrical content is more relatable and deeper compared to similar artists, and avoids the typical traps of genericism those artists fall into. The instrumentals do not have the big drops and massive synth beats that come in after a vocal line as most pop songs do these days, but rather elevate the vocal performance and emphasize the melody. With Trust Issues, Astrid S firmly establishes herself as an artist to watch in the pop genre.
Best Tracks: Trust Issues, Emotion
Weakest Tracks: Someone New, The First One
Overall Score: B+