Life may not always be roses but E^ST’s latest release is as sweet as can be.

Leading on from the Triple J Hottest 100 charting single, ‘Life Goes On,’ ‘Life Ain’t Always Roses’ takes you on a journey through the highs and lows of the late teen years. From shitty house parties, broken relationships, to cherishing friendships; E^ST perfectly encapsulates growing up.

Kicking off the EP is ‘Alien’; a quirky track about feeling out of place. Never one to the follow the crowd herself, Mel Bester aka E^ST puts her own spin on a song about feeling out of place. The overall sound gives off Twenty One Pilots crossed with Panic! At The Disco vibes. It’s no wonder E^ST is Australia’s first artist to sign to the iconic Fueled By Ramen label for this release.

Following on from ‘Alien’ is ‘I Don’t Lack Imagination’ – the first single off the EP. Packing a punchy chorus with catchy lyrics, it’s obvious E^ST has another hot contender for this years’ Hottest 100. ‘I Don’t Lack Imagination’ addresses the fantasy vs reality of having relationships not live up to expectations. The blend of pop synths with edgy beats makes it hard to not love this track.

‘Heaven In My Mind’ and ‘Pure’ have been staples of Bester’s live sets for a while now, so it’s a pleasure to finally get the recorded versions of the tracks. ‘Heaven In My Mind’ paints a vivid picture of late night parties we all experienced throughout our teens, along with an overwhelming sense of also not wanting to be at those parties. The song is one of the most comforting songs on the album. It wraps you up with every line. The melodic synths at the end of track fade off for the ultimate heavily vibe. On the other hand, ‘Pure’ is a dark track for such a light sound. Examining the shallow nature of people and an overwhelming sense of isolation, ‘Pure’ is a beautiful juxtaposition of content vs sound.

The third single off the EP is ‘Friends’ and highlights Bester’s vocals along with her songwriting ability. Starting off as a piano ballad, Bester’s voice shines before kicking off with her electro-pop punch. The song effortlessly switches between being piano based and electronically driven. “Friends’ is going to have whole crowds singing back, lighters up, holding their best friends.

“Life ain’t always roses but / even when the road gets rough / you’ll never have to face too much alone.” – Friends Lyrics

With no fear of shying away from the realities of growing up, the EP also closes on inadequacies and needing a little love. Previous singles ‘Blowjob’ and ‘Ad Break Pastime’ are unapologetically raw. They’re the love songs we never asked for but definitely needed. Overall, ‘Life Ain’t Always Roses’ is one of the most realistic EPs about growing up. E^ST takes off rose-coloured glasses and presents her youth with passion and wisdom beyond her years.

Life Ain’t Always Roses is out October 26 via Warner Music.


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