Melanie Martinez’s songs are always so beautiful but also aggressive and full of vengeance and her new EP, After School EP, was no exception. There is raw emotion in her stories that she tells through her intriguing lyrics; her music is incredibly unique. Her music is evolving but still sticking to this genre of music that she completely owns; it’s very easy to hear her music and recognize her voice and tone throughout her songs.
It’s a cliché to say that Melanie’s newest album kept me on the edge of my seat, but, genuinely, I’ve never been more excited and interested in an EP in my life. Melanie is my favorite musical artist, and I was ecstatic when I heard her newest EP was coming out. I knew this release, although it wasn’t an album like expecting, was going to blow me away, and it did just that.
The first song, “Notebook,” has the most interesting beat from all of her previous songs and it’s paving the way for the new releases by taking her musical talent up a level. Melanie’s previous album, K-12, felt like the peak of her career and musical abilities, but After School completely proved me wrong. I knew Melanie was putting a lot of effort into this behind the scenes, and her work definitely paid off.
My favorite thing about any of Melanie’s work is that there is always a deeper meaning and a heavy-hearted story to match the melodic tunes that are straight out of her mind. The topics she touches on every once in a while may be some of the basics, like heartbreak or love, but she is mainly known for taking things deeper with themes like eating disorders and child predators—topics other artists are afraid to bring to the light of the musical world.
Although I didn’t know all of the words to her third song, “Brain & Heart,” I could clearly see in the future that this would be one of my favorite songs of hers. It can be hard to listen to a song and completely understand the meaning of on the first listen, but one of the best things about her songs is that while the topics might be specific, the messages can be interpreted in any way depending on who is listening. I think a lot of artists have a hard time writing music because their songs are either too broad or too specific, but somehow, Melanie has figured out how to combine both and portray this beautiful story through each of her pieces.
Something that I will always appreciate about Melanie’s style is that she never fails to add sound effects behind the music; in “Glued,” Melanie added sounds mimicking sticking objects to wet glue, and that just adds an astounding little flare that made me realize how seriously Melanie takes her music writing. It’s not just music that she is creating—it’s the experience for the listener, and she does a great job making that experience a complete journey.
Melanie overall is such a talented artist, and I really respect her and how far she stretches her mind to find the perfect song that’s completely independent of anything I have ever heard before. As a fan of her previous work, I can most certainly say that I really enjoyed this EP just as much as anything else that she has put out.
She has surprised me with stepping up her game but thankfully staying true to herself.