Stream Imbi The Girl's debut EP with a track-by-track walkthrough
After rising through the ranks with a range of singles, Imbi's debut EP, For Me, solidifies their place as one of Australia's most exciting.
Header photo by Gabriel Gasparinatos.
All it took was one listen of their debut single Acidic and it was evident that Imbi The Girl would become a superstar. It was, at the time, one of the most exciting and refreshing tracks we'd heard from our local scene in quite a while, bridging the gap between indie, pop, electronic, R&B and soul with one masterful move. The singles they've released since - 2017's V.I.P. and this year's follow-up Swell - has done nothing but cement Imbi The Girl as one of Australia's most exciting names of the 'next generation', each release building on the last to position Imbi as a versatile and bold musician who has some serious potential and promise behind them.
Released today, their debut EP For Me is the most obvious sign yet of their brilliance. Joining Acidic, V.I.P. and Swell on the release are two new tracks that continue to showcase Imbi's refreshing and bright sound, combining this unique, soulful poetry with perfectly subdued productions that allow Imbi's charming vocals to truly shine. It's also an incredibly important release, with Imbi's presence and the topics they dives into across the EP - which you're about to find out below - following suit from acts such as Miss Blanks and Cub Sport in detailing the highs and lows of a queer upbringing and life, especially through singles like V.I.P. which, at the time, gave the Australian queer population a much-needed message of self-love and self-appreciation. Dive into the full EP now, and while you're won over by Imbi's signature charm, get the down-low on the EP's creation and inner-themes with a track-by-track walkthrough by Imbi The Girl themself. Also, catch Imbi The Girl at the forthcoming Listen Out Festival - deets and full line-up HERE.
At the time I wrote Angel Face, I was craving creative release but didn’t have the means to make that a reality, I was desperate to paint but couldn’t afford a canvas. The frustration of an artist unable to create started affecting my mental health. Then, one day, the universe delivered. I was walking home from the beach when I came across this man putting all these huge canvases on the side of the road, he’d just moved in and said the previous tenant “considered himself an artist but wasn’t very good”. The canvases were completely covered in thick, textured paints forming these elaborate abstract landscapes. I didn’t mind them, but figured I could paint over one and smooth it out to use for myself. Of course, I couldn’t smooth it out. When I got home I started an artwork that took me three weeks to complete and throughout the whole process, I could not remove the textures and layers of the previous art. The result was a beautiful, textured painting which turned out to be one of the works I’m most proud of to date, I don’t think I’d feel that way if it weren’t for the contributions of the artist before me. Angel Face is about that story, the final painting and some of what the whole thing taught me.
V.I.P. is a love song dedicated to myself. It is a public declaration of my shameless sexuality and my abundance of self-love. I wrote it because I wanted to write a love song but had no one to write one for, and then, of course, I realised that I ALWAYS have someone to write love songs for and that someone is me. I wanted V.I.P. to help others’ tap into their self-love, and to remind us all that regardless of where our interpersonal relationships are at we have ourselves and that’s the most beautiful, passionate and fruitful relationship out there. I still serenade myself with V.I.P. every now and then, and I love it.
So, sometimes I get this feeling and I can’t put my finger on what it is. I’ve tried many times to think of the right word/name for this feeling but I just don’t know that the English language has one yet so I wrote Swell to try and help myself understand what I was going through. The feeling is sort of this building pressure in my chest that feels like it’s a culmination of every emotion I’ve ever felt and more. It makes me restless and confused and leaves me feeling sort of helpless and out-of-control, so one night when I was having a particularly hectic episode with said feeling, I took myself down to the beach and wrote Swell. It helped me find some relief for a while and I hoped it could help others find some refuge too, in case anyone else out there was feeling the same.
This track is about unrequited love. There’s no sugar-coating the fact that up until maybe early last year, I’d never experienced anyone having reciprocated romantic feelings for me, and up until maybe two years ago, that fact really messed me up. Keep in mind I was deeply in the closet (and trying to fulfil a societal expectation that went against a lot of what I now stand for) but every time I developed feelings for someone, it would blow up in my face and every time it blew up in my face, I would go on this rampage of self-loathing and self-deprecation. I now know that none of that really matters and am in a serious committed relationship with myself, but this track is kind of like an ode to how I used to feel and the dialogues that I can still find playing deep down in my head every time I develop romantic feels.
Acidic is a story of recovery. Usually, when I describe it I focus on the trauma that leads to the recovery but since releasing the track over a year ago, new meaning has come through. I feel like now, when I listen to Acidic, I hear a story of overcoming some huge mental health hurdles and emerging on the other side a capable yet fluid person. The track reminds me that there will always be darkness and that very darkness is what fosters the brightest of lights. It reminds me that the human vessel is resilient and strong and that I am both of those things too.
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