EP REVIEW: Carlie Hanson – DestroyDestroyDestroyDestroy

On the back of her early introductory singles and her debut EP ‘Junk’, Carlie Hanson toured the world opening for artists like Yungblud, Troye Sivan and Lauv, before conducting a run of headline shows. Winning fans over with her high octane energy fuelled sets, the Wisconsin based singer-songwriter is ready to continue growing her sound with a grittier and even more honest approach. 

Her sophomore EP ‘DestroyDestroyDestroyDestroy’ is a strong and cohesive example of this approach with a heavier and grungier pop-rock sound meets hip-hop attributes injected into her alt-pop sonic. It’s a departure from the more chilled out beat driven sound of ‘Junk’, and is instead a stronger representation of the energy her live show embodies. 

Opening the EP with ‘Fires’ featuring Lil West she immediately delivers a self-depreciating moment that explores not valuing your self-worth, as well as then relying on alcohol to numb the pain. “I go setting fires. Bridges don’t know why. Everything is perfеct. Don’t think I desеrve it” she honestly sings. This perfectly sets the foundations for the EP lyrically as she explores alcoholism, addiction and self worth in a very candid, vulnerable and honest way, and layers it with a grungy hip-hop beat. 

Sliding into ‘Is That A Thing?’, she gives listeners one of my favourite Carlie Hanson moments yet. In my opinion this is one of her best songs hands down, and after listening to it for a first time you will probably understand why. She has been playing this song in her live set for a while now, and what stood out when I first saw it live was the raw and contagious punk-pop energy. Managing to capture that angsty energy within the studio version, the song then surprised me with its contrasting emotional lyrics of questioning if she will ever feel okay or “normal”. 

“Oh, does anybody know, will I ever see my face and not want it to erase? Oh, does anybody know, will I ever be okay without something in my veins? Does anyone know? Does anyone know? Is that a thing?” she shouts during the anthemic chorus. 

Continuing the grungey pop-punk aesthetic, ‘Ego’ featuring iann Dior keeps the energy high before she strips things back a bit with the beat led ballad ‘Daze Inn’. Stripping it back further on ‘Stealing All My Friends’ to just an acoustic guitar and atmospheric pop beat, she sings about the affects that drugs and alcohol have had on her friendship groups. “Drugs keep stealing all my friends” she vulnerably sings. 

Getting the energy back up again, the lead single ‘Side Effects’ gives you a moment of pure release as she sings about regretting allowing herself to fall for someone again, which is just a giant mood. “I wasn’t looking for this, now I don’t want this to end. Lying on the kitchen floor, geeling all the side effects”. Great chorus. Great song. 

Closing the EP with the ultra honest ‘Good Enough’, she cohesively ends this collection on a self deprecating tracks about not feeling like she will ever be good enough. It’s layered with a trap inspired beat and contrasted with a smooth vocal delivery that captures the raw emotion of her unravelling. “I push everyone away before they can runaway. I’m not gonna let you see everything underneath” she admits before asking “I don’t think I’ll ever be good enough. I don’t think I’m ever gonna find someone. Don’t you leave me alone. Won’t you carry me home?”.

‘DestroyDestroyDestroyDestroy’ is a strong and cohesive collection of tracks that hears Carlie Hanson being the most authentic, raw and honest version of herself yet. These songs are emotional but experimental. They are infectiously catchy, but are also deeply honest. It genuinely feels like a piece of her heart given to you in a sonical form, and it’s such an engaging listen from start to finish.