Ballsy – ‘Bisou’ EP

The Bisou EP presents a hook-filled array of guitars and synths alongside anthemic vocal swells, representing a thorough success from Ballsy. The project comes via Caveboy synth player and bassist Isabelle Banos, and Bisou represents her debut EP. “This is the record I dreamed of making when I was a lonely teenager teaching myself Green Day covers on my first guitar alone in my bedroom,” Banos says. “It’s simple, it’s raw, and it’s filled with imperfections that I would have been too scared to share even just a couple of years ago.”

Opening the album with melodic captivation, “Be Your Baby” presents a warming immediacy. Soaring vocal confidence and jangling guitar comforts excel into an anthemic expanse. “I’m always gonna be your baby,” the vocals reassure there, emitting a replay-inducing impact. “Joe Millionaire” comes next with a fuzzy charisma, calling out “I wanna believe in something,” during an earworm of a hook that reminds fondly of Wolf Alice; the dash of synths into the rock-forward verses adds a delightful touch.

Following two bursts of infectious energy, “Person” unveils Ballsy’s more emotive songwriting and dynamic atmospheric navigation. “You’re just a person, you’re just trying to figure it out like me,” the vocals resonate with a sympathetic glow, building with cohesive enthrallment from the murkier, understated verses. Co-written with Lùisa, “Person” is described by Banos as “both an intimate conversation and an anthemic scream session.” “Person” is a standout piece of songwriting and production from Ballsy.

The EP’s second half continues the engaging listening experience. “Holy Water” traverses across excitable guitar trickling and lush flourishes of keys, as vocals yearn “not to fall for it all again,” into a spacious central hook. A magnetic dream-pop arsenal succeeds wholly on the affecting “Wannabe,” aesthetically in the vein of Alvvays, while “Eulogy” closes the release with further guitar/synth entrancement and hooky vocal vigor. The Bisou EP is a consistently melodic, well-produced success from Ballsy.

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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