Los Angeles, United States
PIAO’s debut EP ‘Tissues’ addresses relatable life struggles through elements of pop–rock and slow ballads.
The first track on the album ‘Tissues’ illustrates themes of feeling lost, struggling with life decisions and seeking fulfilment authentic to ourselves, without giving in to external pressure. The musicality has a subtle accompaniment of pop synth which ensured a focus on those soft and endearing vocals, allowing this raw message to be effectively portrayed. The lyricism also does justice to these themes, I felt this, especially in the verse which states ‘the stars don’t even shine’, which greatly embodies PIAO’s message that we lose our sparkle when we are ingenuine to our own desires.
There were similar themes in the track ‘Haunted by Potential’ which was almost like an exploration of the different scenarios we hypothesise in our minds, wondering whether we are on the correct path in life. The song was composed in more of a ballad form, the musicality taking focus on slow piano chords and acting as a nice accompaniment to those meaningful lyrics. PIAO’s warm yet distinctive vocals carry this message effectively, as well as her angelic tone adding to these melancholic themes of self-criticism.
‘Spacebubu’ draws upon wanting to experience feelings of love, and how despite negative experiences, it does not morph our idealised vision of wanting to be in love again. There is an intricate control of the vocals. The incorporation of high and low notes greatly portrays PIAO’s vocal range and her ability to deliver a variety of moods and tones solely through the matriculate level of detail in her vocals.
My favourite tracks are ‘SFL’ and ‘Hannah Montana’ as it acted as a nice contrast to the slower songs on the album. The former is a great upbeat track, rich in soundscapes making it a perfect listen for pop lovers to get up and dance to, yet the quirky feel to the vocals sets PIAO aside as a distinctive artist in the pop field.
In ‘Hannah Montana’ there is an integration of pop and rock genres to deliver a lively atmosphere. The vocals have switched from these previous soft, angelic tones, to a more upbeat delivery. The musicality has a focus on electric guitar riffs, drumbeats and pop synth, which really gives it that pop-rock feel. However, PIAO still maintains this theme of injecting deep messages into her songs. We see a similar message to ‘Spacebubu’, as this track addresses how we grow up with an idealised expectation of love and dealing with feelings of disappointment as adults when these dreams are unmet.
PIAO can create songs with deep meanings through an exploration of different styles of music. The relatable lyricism truly engages the listener with an emotive response, yet still gives them the urge to get up and dance, which is only done through great artistic choices.