There seems to be about three styles jostling for attention on opening track Play Pretend, unfortunately by the chorus the one that’s most prominent is Avril Lavigne-like brat-rock as Eriksson belts out in a hollow echoing scream of ‘Tell me how am I supposed to feel!?’ over scruffy little electric guitars. There’s a lot of spirit in her delivery, but it feels like a petulant rage and as a result it’s flippant and trivial.
Creepy Little Story works better, cooing over acoustic guitar on the Ed Harcourt-like choruses, her own backing vocals peeking in and out with whispers. Her bursts of shouty angst still sneak out at time, but they’re better placed amongst the dizzying nightmare tumbles of the track. However I’m Hidden So Well, whilst showing early promise, belly flops into rather lame indie-pop guitar riffs, which – by dint of their muted infrequency – feel half-baked and oddly timid. The twistier verses are stronger with more ambition in their arrangement than the chugging, lifeless chords.
There’s a nice distant drum-line by Tom Ashcroft Nowicki on the rather flimsy bittersweet balladeering of I’ll Never Tell, there are awkward lyrics constructs but a nice, and genuinely creepy, child-like chant at one point. It’s the EP’s best showcase for Eriksson’s voice, but it climaxes in a rather sloppily arranged layering of different vocal performances that doesn’t quite gel. Closing track Stuck In My Mind suffers from every problem that has reared its head across the record, bland rock choruses, a touch of creative insecurity, moments of interesting vocal arrangment or a nice melody that just becomes another cookie-cutter holler along.
This debut EP from Swedish-born, London-based Eriksson feels like an artist a little unsure of herself, there are styles contrasting and conflicting often within the space of a single track and they often do the moments that do work a disservice. Hopefully she’ll ditch the pop riffs and concentrate on the far more interesting melodic and poetic aspects of these songs.