Emerging dreampop goddess Quelle Rox is an artist who epitomizes the tenets of the genre. Able to craft delicate and dreamy ambiances seemingly at will, the Brooklyn songstress finally releases her debut project Lilac Rush to the world today, accompanied by a gorgeous visual storybook.
Like most debut projects, Lilac Rush functions as the ideal starting point to Rox' music and also a deeply intimate reflection of herself as an artist. "through the different moments of writing this EP, and even the songs that remain unreleased, all of the tracks surrounded similar themes— taking feelings of heartbreak, loneliness, anxiety, etc.; and turning them into a whimsical, colorful, space-y experience. The short film is a perfect visual depiction of taking these unfavorable experiences and transforming yourself into a work of art, whether it’s a flower goddess or an alien queen or whatever you want to be in your own dream world."
Each song on the EP is a chapter in Rocky's artistic and personal development. For example, opening song "Let's Take A Trip" dates back to her time at NYU, finishing up a class on MIDI in Ableton. "Liquor Rain" is a beautiful synth-laden dreamscape, dripped in emotion and angst. Previously released "No Surprises" is a swaying ballad that somehow feels simultaneously romantic and withdrawn. Several other previously released singles occupy the project with "Waves", "Space Parade", and "Cosmic Gloom" all making appearances, however the project still feels entirely cohesive and maintains its blurry narrative flow. Rounding out the tracklist is the gorgeous synth-wave love letter that is "What Could Have Been." A standout track in its own right, it distinctly highlights Rocky's vaporwave influence and her own unique take on the genre.
The visual storybook takes one minute snippets from each song and generates a hazy narrative structure for the project. Director Kelli McGuire said of the storybook, "When I initially spoke to Rocky about the video, she told me she wanted three things; retro, floral and space. While listening to the songs, I came up with a storyline, Quelle Rox goes on a retro-inspired sci-fi trip and meets an alien with flowers for fingers. She leaves her drab living room and travels through a void to an otherworldly floral forest." It's an ingenious way to do visual justice to each track on the project instead of only focusing on one or two tracks.
A project that feels something like an acid trip through a dollhouse, Quelle Rox delivers a piece of art that is unique to her scintillating skillset as an artist. Vibrant and ambitious, Lilac Rush is a frolicking dreampop wonderland that is a treat for the ears and eyes.