Fans that loved Sweet Pill’s debut will be thrilled to hear that the band has maintained their excellent sound and style on their new EP Starchild.

Release date: March 15, 2024 | Hopeless Records | Instagram | Bandcamp | Twitter

I missed out on Sweet Pill’s debut album Where the Heart Is when it came out in 2022. Not sure how, considering this type of band is right up my alley in every possible way but somehow I managed it. Checking them out was one of my favorite finds of last year and their first album is so fun and incredibly catchy, easily one of the best debuts of the 2020’s to me. Seeing them grow and be able to sign a new deal with Hopeless Records in 2023 has been a delight and it’s clear they’re going to be around for a long time to come.

Sweet Pill has one of the best sounds of any new emo band. There’s some math-rock sprinkled in, some Midwestern emo roots, some pop-punk influence, some light punk influence on some of their instrumentals, and it all coalesces wonderfully on Starchild just as it did on their debut. The title track “Starchild” is one my favorites from the band so far, the punchy guitars sound great and the track serves as a wonderful table setter for the short EP. It’s good to see Sweet Pill dabble in making a longer track instead of some of the shorter two-minute tracks the band tends to make. The shorter tracks still hit too though. “Eternal” is only a bit over two-minutes but it’s a great slow and heavy track with a nice vocal performance.

‘I wanna take it really slow
But the world says no
It’s all rushing past
The hands of time stabbed me in the back
What do you want from me?
How am I supposed to be?’

Just like on Where the Heart Is, lead singer Zayna Youssef’s vocals are excellent. I love how catchy the delivery on “Sympathy” is, it speeds through to the excellent outro with every line sounding fantastic. “Chewed Up” has Zayna briefly split vocal duty, which works much better this time around than it did on “Diamond Eyes” from their previous album. It’s a great pop-punk track with the best writing Starchild has detailing some intense struggles in trying to explain one’s self worth.

As Sweet Pill‘s first project with their new label, Starchild is a great first step for the next stage in the band’s career. Every second of the ten minute project is maximized with four killer tracks, some great vocals throughout, and the instrumentation is even better. The flair that made Where the Heart Is so good is all still here and the short EP Starchild does great serving as a jumping on point for anyone that’s giving Sweet Pill a first listen – and giving their established fans some new songs to fall in love with.

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