ALBUM REVIEW: One of One (STARLEY)
ALBUM One of One // ARTIST Starley
A glittering manifestation of self-reflection and actualisation, the debut album One of One from Aussie dynamo Starley perfectly posits dazzling pop sensibilities with hard-hitting authenticity.
With lofty accolades like warming stages for the likes of Cher, Katy Perry and Carly Rae Jepsen, an ARIA nomination and one billion streams on Spotify, it's safe to say Sydney songstress Starley has already staked her claim as one of the most exciting modern artists on the scene - and all before she'd ever released a full-length album. And while this burgeoning creative pro has weathered many storms to find her way in the world, both personally and professionally, it's on her debut album One of One that Starley unlocks a sharp and scintillating balance of honesty, electropop wizardry and undeniable sense of self.
Kicking off with the album's title track, One of One offers a lustrous ballad coated in electronic percussion and Starley's plush vocals as she laments loss and inner turmoil against a glossy backdrop, while the dancefloor-ready Call On Me (Ryan Riback Remix) effortlessly showcases why this banger was Starley's breakout single.
From upbeat angst to some soulful bliss, Let Me In dishes out a softer glimpse at Starley's sonic arsenal, as minimal instrumentation frolics in the background of this light and lulling tune co-written with Amy Allen (Harry Styles, Halsey). But before you know it, the energetic sheen returns, with the frothy Better With U celebrating the joy of finding your better half (as well as Starley's vocal poise and polish).
A vulnerable spoken word interlude leads seamlessly into Bad Love; a track utterly dripping in sharp emotives and robust vocals as Starley traverses a toxic relationship armed only with a piano and her goose-bump-inducing pipes. But just before the blues creep in and consume you whole, we're back into the light with the dance-tastic Signs with Eden Prince busting out an upbeat masterpiece that pleads the case for international infamy from this Sydney shooting star.
One of One continues it's oscillating journey from the lustrous and laid-back stylings of Call On Me, to the poignant ode of togetherness for the LBGTQIA+ community on Love Is Love and a spell-binding acoustic cover of Tracy Champan's Fast Car.
Starley's warm potency weaves a particularly personal narrative on the mid-tempo gem Yours, and the personal touches sprinkle throughout the remainder of the album, with the electronic anthem Lovers + Strangers touching on the grey areas left after amicable breakups and, ultimately, the gospel-inspired closing track Arms Around Me dealing with relationship backsliding as well as sonic inspiration from Starley's own youth.
While it's no secret that Starley is already a music superstar in the making, it's on her debut album that she can truly spread out and meticulously showcase her truly dazzling take on the electropop genre; but with her own indelible flavour at every twist and turn. One of One is an amalgamation of sonic and personal growth from an utterly commanding artist who can ignite a dancefloor as effortlessly as she can wear her sleek heart on her sleeve and pierce into your soul. And while One of One may very well be just the beginning of a mighty new chapter for Starley, it will undoubtedly be one of the many albums this divine songstress will gift us in her illustrious career to come (if we're lucky).
STARLEY'S DEBUT ALBUM ONE OF ONE IS OFFICIALLY OUT THIS FRIDAY 25TH SEPTEMBER VIA CENTRAL STATION RECORDS. FOR MORE INFO, HEAD HERE.
BY TIANA SPETER