18 July 2013 (released)
03 December 2013
At 14 years old, most of us were in secondary school, keeping up appearances and using our spare time to loiter outside malls and shopping centres. Not this rocking rockstress though; at the same age, she’s way too busy performing her unique brand of alternative pop at shows across the east coast of the United States and releasing her debut album, ‘I Should’ve Known’, which is a lively 12-track album with a plethora of themes and experiences that belie her young years.
Scalies connects with older audiences through intelligent song writing and her enthrallingly edgy style that isn’t at all corny pop in a Avril Lavigne kind of way (sorry, Avril). Though she occasionally talks about fairly youthful topics, there is never a sense of exclusivity because her vocal delivery and the quality of the musicianship she possesses is so mature. And even then, let’s face it, most of us have experienced the trials and tribulations of adolescence some time in our lives – ‘I Should’ve Known’ takes you back there with melodic poeticism.
The album infuses a lot of genres, particularly of the rock, guitar dominated variety, but it doesn’t sound polished and over-produced. ‘I Should’ve Known’ is very rough around the edges; bumpkinly at some points and then practically garage/basement recorded at others.
Throughout, Scalies shows diversity at switching up the tempo of the songs to give the album a controlled rhythm. ‘Bottom of the Ocean’ and ‘Small Talk Friends’ are loud, thrashy and aggressive while ‘Phoenix’ and ‘Rose Blossom’ are slightly more indolent, bittersweet and very country in comparison. Moreover, not only does she shift between gears and subgenres, but also the fact that she can cover a massive track like My Chemical Romance’s ‘Welcome to the Black Parade’ and put her own distinctive deadpan spin on it, is a testament to the teen’s talent for the alternative.
Scalies has an awesome mezzo-soprano high register with a taut, mournful low range that oozes and emphasises the melancholic contemplation of the serious subjects of loneliness, deep relationships and even bullying she talks about across this assorted offering. Don’t get tricked into believing that this is some emo album because it definitely isn’t. What ‘I Should’ve Known’ is—is a contribution from a young artist with a lot of wisdom, spunk and drive.