There are few artists who can do it all, and lucky for Pauline Herr, it comes effortlessly.
Her latest pop-electronica endeavor, the six-song Contradictions EP, is entirely self-sung, written, produced and mixed. Released July 30th via Seeking Blue Records, the label home of ILLENIUM's Ashes and Awake projects, Contradictions is a special look behind the curtain at Herr's most authentic self.
"All I really want is to connect with people by showing them my heart, while being as transparent and vulnerable as possible," Herr said in a press release.
From the bright, anticipative tones of its opening track "Infatuated" to the vocal filters of "This Is Gonna Be Hard," Contradictions demonstrates Herr's steadfast handle on marrying potent lyrics with compelling soundscapes. The poetry of "Dodgeball," for example, is reminiscent of the nostalgic innocence of Olivia Rodrigo's "drivers license." Herr pairs this energy with an effortless blend of muted percussion and delicate echoes. "True Colours," on the other hand, matches spacey vocals with gentle drums and an eerie, addictive melody.
Still, the project's closer, "No Goodbyes," is its true standout. A reverberating build of vocal chops and bass leads to a drop that never quite comes—but in this case, that's exactly the point. Instead, Herr leaves us on a note of uncertainty, wrapping the project with an understated arrangement of sun-kissed arpeggios that resonate like a fireworks finale. Purposefully uneasy, "I wonder what we could've been," she sings.
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It's clear Herr is executing a vision with Contradictions, and by taking its creative elements into her own hands, she has paved a way to do so in the most honest of ways.
"To me, being authentic means doing what feels good to me and not conforming to an artist standard or sticking to one style forever," Herr continued. "I can’t wait to show even more sides of my production and voice as time goes on and I continue to evolve as a human and artist.”
You can listen to Contradictions on streaming platforms here