Stitch Reviews: Friction
Album Title: Friction
Release Date: February 25, 2014
Record Label(s): N/A
Back in 2014, Vancouver-born singer and producer Prado released the first of three incredible EPs: Friction. And what an EP it is! Starting with its totally trippy intro (“SORRY”), Prado provides a musical journey in Friction that makes you want to grab up all of her albums one after the other.
In “Not For Sale”, Prado uses her stunning voice to criticize the music industry and push back against the common view that artists are objects for sale. Even with the haunting vocals, Prado manages to throw me right back to older critiques of the music industry (think Britney Spears’ “Lucky’ or A Tribe Called Quest’s “Check The Rhime”). Following that, is the titular track, “Friction” where Prado sounds like a siren as she croons about the impact her muse has had on her work and how she wants more of it. Following those songs is “Waves”, yet another song with overt or implicit connections to the ocean across this EP. It’s such a gorgeous song!
Then there’s “Just Like The Girls Do” where Prado affects a cutesy voice that should be at odds with the sharp clapback against the man that’s the target of her ire in this track. It’s a diss track… that doesn’t much sound like one at first listen and I like that for us. Then, there’s “Sleepless”. It’s a song I honestly find kind of anxiety-inducing as Prado is effectively spinning us a song of sleep deprivation and obsession. It’s perfect.
Only one song on the EP has a feature and that’s “Run From Me ft. Malice”. This track is so good. Malice has such a fantastic flow and his powerful verse is backed against an almost choral intonation in the opening. Prado invokes the Black Lives Matter movement in this song including the protest chant “hands up, don’t shoot”. Despite how much I enjoy the song, however, the lyrics can be murky and hard to separate from the music.
For me, “Drowning” feels like the dissolution of a relationship. It’s probably one of the saddest songs on the album and if you’re looking for a song to play on repeat following a breakup… this is the song for you. Finally, in the short and sad “December Communion”, Prado layers her mournful lyrics over a beat that wouldn’t be out of place in a club. You’ll want to dance while weeping. I know I did.
Overall, Friction is a glorious introduction to Prado’s work and should inspire you to see what she’s working on currently. While the songs themselves seem to fit a theme of friction somewhere, Prado’s skills as a vocalist and as a producer shine and I want all of the songs in Friction on the soundtrack to an indie horror and/or romance game ASAP!
I recommend this album if: you still listen to the emo music that fueled you as a teenager, you’re having a hard time of it in 2021, or you love a versatile performer with a dreamy delivery