Written by Carmen Mueller
On August 10th, Chicago native Beach Bunny released her new EP Prom Queen. During the beginning of the summer I got the chance to ask Lili some questions about the EP and how it has changed since her first EP Animalism. She told Outsiders Media that, “Prom Queen is an EP that tells the story of teen hood. First heartbreak, insecurity, growing up, uncertainty. I tried to write about some topics I haven't covered before, even though there's still familiar themes and sad girl vibes”.
Animalism followed a more 1950s-60s oldies, doo-wop and bubblegum pop sound which is a change of pace from this latest project. One of Lili’s strengths has always been in her ability to tell a story that is relatable and poignant and that strength has only grown since she started back in 2015. This EP has a more indie pop style instead of super sad girl pop. However, no topic is off the table and this project covers issues such as beauty standards, mental health, and toxic relationships.
The first track “Prom Queen” deals with having to confront society’s expectations of beauty for women; there is an emphasis on having to be thin, fashionable, and delicate. Beach Bunny is able to pair this heavy topic with upbeat guitars and her signature sweet and strong vocals. Being the title track, this song is already showing promise of an even more matured writing style that is not afraid of discussing all kinds of issues.
“Painkiller” is the next track on the album and was released in music video form back in July. Like the pirate themed music video, a quick listen of this song may make you think that it is a happy tune, but this is Beach Bunny. Looking at the lyrics, you find the lamentation of a love that’s no longer enough. It’s heartbreaking to feel like regardless of how hard you try, some relationships just aren’t worth the pain. The guitars and drums have a sort of beach vibe which is very on brand. If you take a step back, look out the car window like you’re in a music video, you may catch yourself shedding a tear.
This next track was really unexpected but a nice little twist to the EP. “Goodbye Summer :(“ has some really beautiful ocean wave effects with whispering vocals and sweet guitars. I appreciate the small interlude because it plays around with production and gives us a nice lead in to the next song.
If you’re a fan of Beach Bunny, this next track may seem familiar. “6 Weeks” has been on her Animalism EP. That version was an acoustic track, but now we have a more full blown version of the extremely beloved song. What I like in this track is how it has small effects that were featured in the previous song. It plays with the denial and confusion of strained relationships with a really strong vocal performance and the overall production has grown since having a full band behind the song. So you’ve got the best of both worlds: an acoustic version and a version with a full band!
The last track “Adulting” hits far too close to home, my goodness. As someone who has just graduated from college, the impeding reality of my ever shortening life is a struggle I face daily and was so graciously reminded of during this song. But that’s the kind of realities that refreshing to hear in a song. Once again, Beach Bunny will have me dancing to this song even though it may encourage an existential crisis. It’s a gift of hers; and the groovy drums and her vocals could get anyone to jam out, so I can’t hold that against her.
Once again, Lili does not disappoint! This EP is something that I have had on repeat since it released and I can only imagine how this project will play out in concerts. Beach Bunny’s fun instrumentals and singing style paired with beautifully impactful lyrics is enough to make any music lover excited. Give her Prom Queen EP a listen and do not sleep on this girl! She’s gonna go far.