Shows are back and I have yet to figure out how I’m going to balance everything with this new addition of album reviews but, don’t worry, I’ll figure it out eventually. Thankfully, shows, although back, are coming back slowly and I have tonight off and a couple of cans of Red Bull so let’s jump into some new music starting with Real Talk’s brand new EP ‘A Better Life’!

I was in love as soon as “Burnt Orange” took over my house. I was instantly lost in a cloud of nostalgia and pop-punk perfection. The vocals that kick this track off are your quintessential nasally pop-punk vocals which some may not like but I love with all of my heart. Dancey and up-beat, this track really kicks this quick EP off with a band and had me so excited to see what the other three songs would have while dreading how quickly this journey would be over.

“Divine Connection” continued with the nostalgia-fueled pop-punk vibes and kicks off with a loud and in charge guitar solo before the track settles into something a little bit softer. This track has a chorus that instantly got stuck in my head. From the lyrics to the beat to the presentation, just everything about the chorus (and really this track in general) is so familiar while feeling fresh and new. Think early 2000’s pop-punk but the underground stuff- more Hidden in Plain View/ Halifax, less Fall Out Boy, Panic at the Disco. There’s just something a bit more gritty and angsty about the sound while it still comes off as very polished and mastered beautifully. Sadly, this track is the quickest song on this quick EP and, before I knew it, it was done and the album had moved onto “Lullaby”.

As the title suggests, “Lullaby” takes this EP into a whole other world. It’s a calm and sweet world with heartbreaking lyrics and staggering emotion that comes with every word. Although I wasn’t quite in the mood for something so calming, quiet, and, quite frankly, sad, there’s no denying the beauty in this track. I also feel like this is how all of the old pop-punk bands used to do it. I mean, Mayday Parade, Just Surrender– they all had that one really sappy song on their albums that if you’re a 30-something, you cried to over and over again in your first car. Honestly, had the Red Bull not been hitting me as this song played through, I would have been all about this. I will definitely be keeping this track in my back pocket for a stormier night.

“Spent” is the first song I had ever heard from Real Talk and it happens to be the last track on this all-too-quick EP. This final song splits the difference between the bounciness of the first two tracks and the somber note of “Lullaby”. It really continues to showcase all of the sides that Real Talk has as a band. Sure, they can do that party mode, they can do the super sad cry yourself to sleep mode but they can also find this perfect balance of the two sides while keeping true to their distinct sound. Although “Divine Connection” was my favorite track just due to the nostalgia factor, “Spent” was absolutely a close second. I suggest checking out both tracks– hell, just listen to this whole EP. It’s great and only lasts twelve and a half minutes. 

My Favorite Track(s): “Divine Connection”

For Fans Of: Pop-Punk Perfection; Nostalgia

Mosh-ability: 8 out of 10

What My Cats Thought Of It: Both cats slept upstairs

How Badly I Want To See This Performed Live: 9 out of 10

My Overall Rating: 8.7 out of 10

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