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Imperial April - Album Review: Imperial April

31 Oct 2023 // A review by Lucy Gray

The signature sound of Imperial April is a sound we’ve all been desperate for more of, since their debut in 2020. With several successful singles each year and their debut EP An April Christmas, Imperial April have teased the possibility of a longer body of work for a while. Long-awaited, today is the day. Imperial April’s self-titled debut album has launched. And it’s safe to say it was worth the wait.

Imperial April pushes their brand's boundaries, allowing a full emotional and musical range in this body of work. Their 90’s edge isn’t dissimilar from The Stokes and NZ band The Beths dipping toes into pop-punk as always but leaning more deeply into the end of their spectrums. Some tracks are more acoustic and emotional, and some songs are more punk and gutsy. Their slower songs such as Baby Blue and Everything Is Okay are reminiscent of a more upbeat Julia Jacklin or Lucy Dacus.

Imperial April’s killer crowd-pleaser Peachy kicks off the album with a bang. This song was originally released in 2020 and cut through the stale monotony of lockdown. Peachy is pop hit meets punk edge, and the song is deeply reflective and introspective, all while maintaining punchy energy, and a jump-up-and-down-hands-to-the-roof beat.

Oh Denial and Peeling Away are standout tracks for me in this EP and I find them running on loop in my head. A summer hit; Oh Denial is a fun, upbeat earworm of a track. The track carries very catchy lyrics and vocals and the line ‘Oh Denial, I’ve been getting older’ has stuck with me. Peeling Away echoes themes of the collective album such as anxiety, change, and seeking relief in the shelter of another person. Lead singer and frontwoman, Victoria’s vocals are full of feeling and even in the most upbeat songs pack a real emotive punch.

Imperial April have mastered the art of meaningful, genuinely self-reflective and relatably emotive tracks. All while being fun and accessible to the listener with punchy electric guitar, 80’s and 90’s inspired beats and powerful vocals. Imperial April are master sculptors, and this album is the perfectly balanced sculpture.

 

About Imperial April

One band's trash is another band's treasure. Imperial April began as a way to up-cycle songs that didn’t quite fit the mould of Victoria and Andy Knopp’s electro-pop project The Response. At first just a selection of songs burnt to CD-R for a mother’s day present, the project has taken on a life of it’s own. After years as a supporting musician lurking in the shadows, Victoria has found a voice as front person. Blending catchy melodies and contemplative lyrics, Imperial April deliver guitar heavy power pop that is sure to get stuck firmly in your head.

For fans of Weezer, The Beths, The Cars, Lucy Dacus and Angel Olsen.


Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Imperial April

Releases

Imperial April
Year: 2023
Type: Album
An April Christmas
Year: 2020
Type: EP

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