Repulsive Woman (the solo project of Millicent Lovelock) releases her debut album Relief, out now all streaming services. Recorded throughout 2018 in Lovelock’s hometown of Dunedin with engineer Adelaide Dunn (Milpool), Relief is an intimate, unfolding exploration in to the perception of self in the context of modern society.
Muted electric guitar and panned, airy vocals usher in the opening title track of the album, as Lovelock’s optimistic melancholy confesses quiet uncertainty. ‘Soft Borders’ sees an inner conflict intensify, as she sings: Any movement is betraying me / even stillness is vulnerability / there’s a cost to being in between. The listener is privy to the suffocation and exhaustion of trapping oneself to the in between; remaining ‘agreeable’, ‘soft’, or ‘non-offensive’.
Guitar-driven track ‘When I Get Good’ lulls into reflection, before launching into the potently satirical ‘Ulysses’. ‘Some Body’ teeters between bitter and soothing as Lovelock’s vocals provide a constant to latch on to in this tumultuous track.
Moving lightly atop a bed of hypnotic acoustic guitar in ‘Rough Around The Edges’, circulating rumours take on the form of delicate melodies that allow affecting yet unassuming lyrics to take centre stage. Themes of pressure to mould to an ‘ideal’ reach their peak in ‘Overripe’ as Lovelock sings: If I could only change.
"If I was tender I would be sweet for you
If I was softer I would split in two
but even ruptured
I might be good for you"
Closing track ‘Earn It Twice’, marks the artist at a halfway point; coming to terms with what others might expect of her, embracing liminality and accepting ways in which she is not always what is expected. Throughout Relief, internal dichotomies and external perceptions of self are explored with depth of nuance, themes most eloquently symbolised in the contrast between Lovelock’s clear, pure vocals binding these 8 tracks, and her evocative moniker ‘Repulsive Woman’.
As one half of the much-loved alt-indie two-piece Astro Children, Millie Lovelock is no stranger to the New Zealand music scene. She first began uploading covers to Bandcamp under the Repulsive Woman moniker in late 2015, later spending time at the Red Bull Music Academy, in Berlin in 2018. Hot off the back of a nation-wide New Zealand tour in May 2019, Repulsive Woman unveils this new chapter, striking a balance between remarkable vulnerability and the kind of elusivity that has listeners hooked from the very first play.
When I Get Good
Rough Around The Edges
Earn it Twice