It’s be proven over the last year that L Devine is the queen of relatable pop anthems. Her previous EP Growing Pains focused on the transition from adolescence to adulthood with tracks about falling in love, Like You Like That, ones about being an introvert and not wanting to go out, Party On Your Own, and others focusing on the transition from school life to the real world, School Girls. Now she’s comeback with a new mixtape and it’s just as good, if not better, than her first EP.
The Peer Pressure mixtape opens with the title track which focuses on a range of topics such as partying, drugs, social media, false friendships and how we can lose ourself by giving into the pressure we receive on a regular basis. Plus it features samples from the cult classic movie Heathers that pretty much embodies the meaning of the song along with one of my favourites lyrics of the year, “Got so many friends and they make me feel alone / Always say they love me but I know they really don’t / I just suck it up and do whatever they want / tell me what I want,” and a gorgeous music videos about feeling like an outsider wherever you go and never truly feeling at home in the world to go with it.
The follow up track is more peaceful and melancholy with the soothing layered beats on top of a luscious guitar riff that is reminiscent of old school 90’s indie pop. Can’t Be You lyrics about the comfort of being in a relationship but knowing it’s a unhealthy one and evidently getting out of the situation before it gets worse and you’re stuck there. It sees the singer tap into a more emotional pop space whilst keeping the infectious melodies from her previous track.
Now we’ve all had moments on a first date where we’ve regretted something we’ve said or acted completely different to try and impress the person we’re with and that’s what inspired the track Nervous. The sound was inspired by the likes of Blood Orange and Solange with the use of melodic beats with almost a funk tinge to the chorus that gives me flashbacks to Charcoal Baby. L Devine has also said, “The more I live with the song, the more the meaning changes for me. It’s not just about a first date anymore, it’s about all the times I’ve beaten myself up about not being myself and losing sleep over a bad first impression I may have made.”
We’ve all had crushes and often wondered do they feel the same way and how we wish we could just find out without having them find out about your feelings. It’s something everyone has experienced and it’s exactly what Read Ur Mind is all about with the soft production focusing on the tender feelings she is feeling before with the hard synth beat being ever present representing those pounding thoughts in the back of your mind that maybe they feel the same way. The track is best summed up with this lyric, “I feel it, do you feel it too / What’s on your mind now / Am I on your mind now.”
Now Daughter is one of the big highlights of the mixtape and it’s easy to see why when you hear this queer pop anthem for the first time. There’s some so gentle and loving about the track despite the subject matter of a the girlfriend’s not accepting their daughter for who she truly is. The lyrics are honestly the best L Devine has ever written with some highlights being, “So say your worst / Trust me your ignorance don’t faze me / She’s my baby girl,” and “Can’t believe you would break her heart / Just to make sure that we’re apart / Not your life, but you’ll get what you want.” It’s one of those songs that from start to finish enthrals you and takes you on an emotional rollercoaster with L Devine’s vocal guiding you and painting the picture with absolute ease.
The grand finale of the mixtape is Runnin’ and that is L Devine wanting to write a song that you would hear when you realise you need to tell your crush that you love otherwise your life will fall apart. The track goes through all the emotions you’d feel as you run to that person, the debates about whether they feel the same, how you can’t turn back now otherwise you’ll regret it forever and how you need to overcome all the obstacles in your way to get there, even if it’s raining. All this track makes you want to do it play it out loud as you run as fast as you can until you can finally reveal your feelings.
This entire mixtape is a masterpiece in pop. Everything about it just sits right with the subjects being mature and relatable to her audience, the production on the tracks being sublime and lyrics that you’ll be singing along to in no time. It’s just the perfect pop record, that comes with a film, and firmly cements L Devine as being one of the big rising stars of the pop world.