ALMA – much like Charli XCX and Tove Lo – knows how to rage until the sun comes up.
The 22-year-old neon yellow-green-ish haired Finnish singer-songwriter’s just dropped a mixtape called Heavy Rules on Friday (March 2) – and it’s a start-to-finish solid selection of slammers…not that anything she’s released thus far isn’t.
From the get-go, the cocky-as-hell “Legend” sets the tone, bouncing along on a familiar “Fancy”-slash-“Pretty Girls” beat as she sings her own praises and declares herself to be a legend – despite being a bit of a trainwreck.
“I fuck it up, been up all night…but I feel like a legend,” she triumphantly declares.
As a certified Cool Pop Girl™ with a penchant for Girl Power collaborations, ALMA teams up with several fellow Cool Pop Girls™ on her mixtape: she orders a mystery suitor to shut up and strip down with MØ on the pulsating, objectifying “Dance For Me,” attempts to make it work on the don’t-let-this-thing-die anthem “Good Vibes” with Tove Styrke (her urgent delivery here is especially top-notch), and cuts straight to the point with Kiiara on the shuffling, Disclosure-y “Chit Chat.”
Everything is (fake) labels, real feelings and fierce beats, as with the amusingly honest bop that will likely resonate with the youths posturing on Instagram, “Fake Gucci”: “If you want some luxury, there is not much I can give than fake Gucci…and love,” she offers.
The entire mixtape vibes with what the more interesting and innovative new girls in pop are doing: like Charli tuning out the pain with Pop 2, or Tove’s self-destructive tendencies on Lady Wood, ALMA’s raging a little too hard, taking one too many substances, and feeling it all once it wears off…until she does it all over again.
Naturally, while each track could be considered a standout in its own right, my personal favorite of the set might be “BACK2U” – the only time it sounds like the party’s over.
ALMA finds herself looking around at the flashing lights of the big city, missing that special someone miles away and, rather grimly, hopes she fails in her pursuit of fame.
“Here the roller coasters are bigger / And people have fancy cars,” she sighs, disillusioned, across a dreary beat. “I hope I don’t make it, I do, I do / I hope I don’t make it, ’cause I wanna get back to you.”
Sorry ALMA, but you might want to book a trip back home to visit. Because if you’re going to consistently serve up this kind of heat, there’s no way you’re not going to make it – and soon.
Heavy Rules Mixtape was released on March 2. (iTunes)
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