Donna Missal – Lighter
Incidentally delicate, intentionally seductive; Donna Missal’s new album Lighter is filled with tunes of somber euphoria and upbeat melancholy.
From the songs written by her grandmother to her father’s old Manhattan recording studio, Missal has music trickling through her veins. She has an independent heart, reminiscent of child’s play, and makes music using vintage mics kept by her father in the basement. Missal has come a long way from voice-over Christmas CDs, and even a little bit further than her collaboration with Macklemore back in 2017.
Lighter is her second studio album. Its opening track How Does it Feel is a breathless and haunting mesh of vulnerable vocals and overpowering musical production. Following closely behind is the leading single Hurt by You, an indie anthem of freedom and self-indulgence, accompanied by summer beats and percussion. These two tracks set a certain expectation for the rest of the album; they vibrate with sun-kissed sentiment and echo reckless summer behaviour.
Let You Let Me Down is a reasonable second single. While it carries a similar message to the first, it is not as strong. It has a little less vibrance and is a lot more generic. From her selected ballads, Slow Motion is the standout track with firm notes and shades of varying emotions, all wrapped up in realisations of letting go. Who Loves You also carries that feeling of unrequited love, communicated effectively through the rasp of Missal’s voice and the misty production.
I’m Not Ready acts as the perfect closer for an album like this. It compiles every single thought and lesson learned within the previous songs and expands on the notion that despite everything that has been said, nothing is truly set in stone – even the mistakes and promises made. It recounts the struggles of love, acceptance and loneliness, and messily admits that there’s still room to continue this cycle of feelings. There is juxtaposition in the careless and flippant confession against the fast-paced alternative melody. The strong acoustics and crescendo seamlessly bring the listener back to that first track of How Does it Feel.
Overall, this album breathes messy confessions and impulsive thoughts and feelings. It’s honest, delicate, but at the same time, it seduces temporary contentment before it cycles back to somber tendencies. It’s a necessary listen for that careless summer decision-making.
Lighter is released on 10th July 2020. For further information or to order the album visit Donna Missal’s website here.
Watch the video for Let You Let Me Down here: