Holly Riva – “Labyrinth (Mask Of Me)”

Photography by Tony Burrows

“Labyrinth (Mask Of Me)” is a riveting pop success from Australian singer/songwriter Holly Riva, whose suavely melodic vocal presence meshes beautifully with colorful synths throughout. Per the artist, the track explores the virtual double-lives that many people inhabit, filtering beyond one’s authentic self and creating “a lie that you can’t live up to,” per Riva. Ben Epand’s production enamors throughout, with the “mask of me,” hook stirring in both its lit-up synth glows and more subdued closing.

“We live in time with epidemic mental health issues with my generation and I feel this plays a huge roles,” Riva explains, with the title referencing the mask-like facade that the digital era can prompt. A reggaeton rhythmic undercurrent complements a dynamic vocal presence, from the thumping momentum in the verses to the brisker charisma apparent in the central hook, declaring: “You’re just caught in the illusion.” “The face you see is a mask of me,” the vocals punctuate here, crafting an infectious electro-pop dazzling amidst a poignant thematic hold; explorations of digital facades, and its impact on mental health and self-esteem, are timely and artfully conveyed.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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