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         Swan diving into a dream world, Coax Me Out glides you through fantasies and floats you across soundscapes. Like some sort of simulated reality, Pearl Crush is your guide through waterfalls suspended in space and rivers that meander beneath the blushing sunrise. A delirium in which everything is soft, gentle, and soundtracked by Clinton’s silky vocals.

        A 5 track escapade, Clinton’s exploration with textures and tones makes it unfold with a sense of unparalleled awe as at any second another dimension could be added into the ethereal mix. Flitting through tropic-pop to more humid r&b, there’s a versatility that echoes the maturity behind the lyrics previously unseen in her debut 7” First Blush b/w Semi Precious Stone. Like plunging into pure sunshine, the introduction saw Clinton dipping her toes in the surf, on Coax Me Out she has no problem getting in over her head.

        While it is tempting to fall into the lush synth-laden sonics, Coax Me Out is as much about emotion and identity as it is about beauty. Starting out with “Can’t Hide It,” the somber marimba and the cloudy tropic-pop make it transcendental. Clinton’s saccharine vocals serve as a light to illuminate some gut-wrenching truths, starting the juxtaposition between beauty and brutal honesty that is central to the album. Again, her voice cascades over bright electro-beats on “True Blue,” further expanding her catalogue of emotions to something as limitless as the ocean itself. The languorous “Bend Until U Break” has a lazy ache to it, one that Clinton seems to have grown accustomed to as she compares her emotional turmoil to the malaise of limbs bent out of place. Awkward angles pushing all physical limitations mimic her emotional capacity as it nears its brink.

        For Clinton, her identity as a Korean-American adoptee is a powerful theme interlaced throughout the whole EP. In an industry historically dominated by white male artists, her narrative is one of graceful strength and unbreakable resilience. Where most musicians stick to what sells, Clinton derives power from her experience and refuses to succumb to silence. Using her platform to discuss issues like cultural appropriation in “Milk + Moon” and taking back her power in “Tide,” Clinton creates an environment for these complex issues to be explored and discussed in a thoughtful way.

        These raw struggles and genuine emotions serve as a reminder that behind that mirage of perfection is someone pulling the strings. That even something so intensely beautiful as Coax Me Out is the product of heartbreak and strife. Clinton reminds us that nothing is entirely free from pain, some feelings are too big to not bleed over into the most saccharine of places but that does not mean they are any less beautiful. It elevates the album from some alien thing that appears too good to be true to a reflection of all the messy beauty that comes with existing.


Fri, 6/29: New Orleans, LA at Banks St. Bar

Sat, 6/30: Atlanta, GA at Sofar Sounds

Sun, 7/1: Wilmington, NC at Modern Legend

Mon, 7/2: D.C. at Black Cat

Tue, 7/3: Brooklyn, NY at Wonders of Nature

Wed, 7/4: Brooklyn, NY at Alphaville

Thurs, 7/5: Pittsburgh, PA at Spirit Lodge

Sat, 7/7: Nashville, TN – TBA

Mon, 7/9: Austin, TX at Hotel Vegas


samantha sullivan