This week Paris Jackson shared her first musical offerings with the world. As part of her folk-pop group The Soundflowers – a duo formed with her boyfriend Gabriel Glenn – she released her debut EP, the self-titled ‘The Soundflowers’.
“I started writing around 13 when I bought myself a guitar but I didn’t really start sharing or recording it until I met Gabriel,” she has said of the group. “We showed each other songs and even wrote a few on the spot. Everything fit together so naturally, from our voices to our songwriting style. I had never met someone who fit so perfectly with my sound.” Now, after two years of working on music with her partner, they’ve stuck out five songs.
Wondering what it sounds like? Well, we’ve taken a listen and reviewed every track on The Soundflowers EP. Is it a thriller? Here’s the NME verdict…
‘You Look (Glorious)’
As the opening twinkles of acoustic guitar begin and the saccharine whistles begin, suddenly we’re transported back to 2012. A simpler time, when The Lumineers ‘Ho Hey’ was, unexplainably, being played everywhere and Mumford & Sons reigned supreme. Glorious? Not quite, but it’s inoffensive enough.
Sounds like: 2012, baby!
Play it when: you need some bland background music for a dinner with your nan.
‘Geronimo’, which Jackson wrote when she was 15, was inspired by heartbreak and loss. It’s a sweet song, albeit filled with some painfully trite lyrics. Most can be forgiven, but the opening couplet of “Haven’t picked up six-string in a long time / I can’t remember the last time I wrote a song” is a bit of a howler.
Sounds like: if Kodaline decided to don cowboy hats
Play it when: you’ve picked up the “six-string” for the first time in ages. You rocker, you.
‘Notes on a Ghost’
“These are my notes on a ghost”, goes the EP’s third song. However – we never find out what these notes say! Are they stalker-y insights into the ghost’s interests so they can be befriended? Their full medical history? Voice notes recorded when half-drunk and sent to the wrong WhatsApp group? Who knows! The song about them is a tedious slab of dull folk-pop though, so it’s probably something boring.
Sounds like: one of the musical numbers in teen-drama Riverdale.
Play it when: you want a soundtrack to moodily stomping to Tesco when your housemate refuses to share their biscuits with you.
‘In the Blue’
Filled with jangling new-wave rhythms borrowed from the The B-52’s and rattling piano licks, ‘In the Blue’ is a welcome respite amongst the saccharine, plodding sounds of the rest of the EP. Gabriel Glenn goes full, growling crooner on this one, pleasingly pushing his roaring vocals to the limit in the melodramatic outro.
Sounds like: ‘Hard Times’-era Paramore jamming on a honky-tonk piano in a dive bar.
Play it when: you’re drinking whisky and rocking out on your out-of-tune guitar.
‘Best Version of Myself’
If this had come out a decade ago; it’d now be known for its cliché use in quirky late ‘00s rom-coms (think 500 days of Summer or Juno). It’s the musical equivalent of when a fuckboy says you’re “not like other girls”. It’s different, you see. It’s a cool song, not like all those other mainstream songs you hear on the radio. Thus it has kitsch instrumentals, sugary intertwining vocals and wild lyrics that err between the cutesy (“I’ll give you the best version of myself”) to odd (“I don’t want you to die,”), making it feel like a lost She & Him B Side.
Sounds like: the Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope.
Play it when: you’re imagining a video montage of you and the one who got away in your head.
It’s actually not a ‘Thriller’ or ‘Bad’ – ‘The Soundflowers EP’ is something we never thought we’d see from a Jackson: bang average