Indie pop darling Lorelei Marcell encapsulates the turbulence of heartbreak and the conflicting emotions that rise up with it on new full-length LP Bittersweet Stages, a 16-track collection built on her powerful combination of catchy pop sonics, emotive vocal lines and poignant song writing.
Opening with the sultry melody of “Need Me,” with its undercurrent of nostalgia Marcell sets up the heartfelt core of her latest project right off the bat. The strength of vocals continues to shine on the soaring feel of “Masterpiece,” and the electro-tinged “Nothing Hurts Better.”
Standout “How to Love Somebody,” channels a bit of rose-tinted romanticism as she reflects on the intensity with which we feel every moment in love, before another highlight follows in the form of piano-led “Stranger,” where melancholy peeks out from within the minimal but impactful soundscape and her ethereal vocals – a feat she repeats later on the album with melodic offering “Where Do I Go?”
The mood of the album shifts to a more anthemic style on “Flashbacks,” before the distorted, layered feel of “ANTISOCIAL,” shows off her ability to juxtapose emotive delivery with groovy instrumentals.
Title track “Bittersweet Stages,” is a luscious pop number that hones in on the overall message of the album to perfection as she longs for the past while also being empathetic in dealing with heartache.
“Break Your Heart” in collaboration with Misty Boyce an echoing, atmospheric production that leaves us feeling soothed but introspective before final track “How Do I Say Goodbye,” ends on a quiet note that captures the beauty and angst bittersweetness in an intricate but impactful manner.
Delicate yet powerful through 43 solid minutes, Marcell manages to keep us rooted and thinking back on our own moments of heartbreak as we emerge from it stronger, more hopeful and comforted by the warmth of her voice.