Starleen cinematically exhibited what it means to be human in her darkwave alt-pop EP, To Give In


A&R Factory

What it means to be human is lyrically pulled across the seven cinematic singles which make up Starleen’s debut art-pop LP, To Give In.

Along with her producer, Zachary Holmes, the San Antonio, Texas residing vocalist and lyricist Starleen infuses the lyrical influence from Waits, Cohen and Nina Simone into darkly ethereal soundscapes that flow in the same vein as Andy Scott, Burial and Autechre, while incorporating the aesthetic unease of older films.

Pulsating drenched in cavernous reverb basslines echo through the soundscapes, allowing Starleen’s glassy, moody vocal timbre to drift atop the dark indietronica rhythms. Any Chelsea Wolfe, Grimes, and London Grammar fans will undoubtedly want to delve into the melancholically arranged singles.

While tracks such as Out of Touch may be sonically jarring at times, this only works to emphasise the disassociation projected by the lyrics before the LP closes on the meditative, disquiet soul of From Myself.

Starleen said:

“With this project, I knew I wanted to create a dark world. The message I try to convey is that in life, we have choices. Although going back may be tempting, we have to move forward. People and their strength to overcome life's battles always has been an inspiration to me.

Lyrically I have always gravitated towards artists like Nina Simone, Tom Waits, and Leonard Cohen, mostly because they talk about what it truly means to be human. And that's something I try to bring in my music.”

Amelia Vandergast, Executive Editor at A&R Factory said:

“All too often, lyricism paints humanity, as a collective, as what we wish we were, what we aim for; an endless series of pretences held up by scarcely anyone for any enduring length of time before the perfectionism becomes a crushing weight.

Starleen breaks the mould by upholding the truth behind the facades. Paired with the cathartically dark soundscapes, her bold daringness to encapsulate the most harrowing facets of the human psyche in To Give In unleashes a wealth of emotion.”


Zach and I met back in high school in music theory. After high school, we started collaborating on some music and decided to officially release our first EP, Life is Strange, in 2020. To Give In is our debut LP, and a remix EP will soon follow.

All our music has been recorded and produced at home, with the aim to make music that we enjoy, and to make an artistic impact, left by our song structures, production style and lyrics. So far, our music has been reviewed on popular YouTube review channels, and our official music video for Right Back won a film festival award in India.

Source A&R Factory

November 18, 2022 6:33am ET by A&R Factory  


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