Chrystyna Marie’s Loaded Gun EP marries the singer’s confidently introspective vocals with sleek yet sparse sketches of blues-tinged cinematic pop for a glistening offering that finds more comfort in the shade than direct sunlight.
A sultry swagger is the hallmark of “Loaded Gun” but there’s a dramatic weariness in the very aesthetic of the song. Chrystyna finds a nobility in her moments of resignation, a proud defiance in the face of the inevitable. As the track collapses wearily into its own grooves, it still commands a certain sense of respect.
A sonic boldness in the face of futility continues into “Down the Road”, a track that nearly loses itself in bluesy conventions but finds itself saved by Chrystyna’s immense vocal prowess. She breathes a refreshing wind across an arid, well-trod dirt road that inevitably weaves its way through every blues record, leaving a golden kiss to soothe its rustic edges.
The larger than life pop sensibility soars across the wide expanses of “No More” that finds Chrystyna shedding the bluesy grit for sophisticated, piano-backed pop. It provides a contrasting facet to the inward-facing strength of “The Tower” with vulnerable gestures of guitar and piano against a plodding, anthemic electronic beat.
Chrystyna Marie seems capable of producing easily digestible pop music without dumbing it down while providing enough versatility to keep an audience guessing beyond the 4 songs offered here. Loaded Gun is a promising start offering different takes on reflective pop.