Sensitive-pop artist Lulu Simon dropped her new emotionally-tangled EP, Muscle Memory, a few weeks ago to the fanfare of her growing fanbase. The five-track EP is described as being perfect for midnight drives, long nights in your mind, and perfect for screaming at the top of your lungs.
But is Muscle Memory simply a collection of songs with no actual weight to balance Lulu Simon’s reflective storytelling? Or is Lulu Simon the next heavyweight on the pop scene, creating a space for those that feel broken and need a musical outlet? Let’s find out.
Described by Lulu Simon as a track meant just to let loose and have high levels of fun, “All In” is just that. A fun musical experience that’s made for listening at the highest levels while driving around the city, singing as loud as you can. The “let go” attitude behind “All In” is fantastic as we all need to let loose now and then, so why not have a danceable pop track to soundtrack the moment?
“All In” isn’t trying to change the world with its subtle beats and flashy vocal melodies that take hold for the track’s entire two-minute runtime, making it a special addition to Muscle Memory.
Lulu Simon’s unique vocal cues are enough to keep the party going at all hours of the night. Nailing her concept of a “let loose” anthem, taking what you want, and living your best night with your friends.
“I hope I’m always something.” Lulu Simon isn’t messing around with the emotional heartbreak listeners are in store for while spinning Muscle Memory, and “Something” is the perfect example of the emotional weight the singer-songwriter has at her fingertips.
Instrumentally, “Something” continues the subtle mix of sounds to backdrop the emotional vocal melodies provided by Lulu Simon, creating a tear-jerk atmosphere filled with relatable qualities and lyrics with more weight than heartstrings can handle.
Listeners will have zero issues latching on instantly to the track’s heartbreaking chorus; “if we’re something/then at least we’re not nothing at all.” “Something” is heartbreaking, loving, and emotionally moving, all wrapped in a cloudy day with no escape. The perfect experience to let the waterworks flow.
“Driftwood” is probably my favorite track off Muscle Memory. The track’s acoustic nature is an instant hit with me as a lover of all things acoustic; Lulu Simon pairs her infectious acoustic instrumentation with her EPs trend of utilizing subtle beats perfectly to create a fantastic playground for the mind to drift off into.
The EP’s third track is filled with an otherworldly atmosphere, presenting itself as a continued breakup story while also triggering the feeling of content with the past staying in the past. It’s a funny feeling knowing the emotional depth of “Driftwood” with lyrics such as, “but now I’m driftwood/and you know that I would drift home if I could,” while also having the complete opposite emotional reaction of feeling fine with letting a relationship go into the sunset.
The in-your-face qualities and reverse emotional reactions in “Driftwood” paints the track as the best musical experience found on Muscle Memory. “Driftwood” should be the track to put Lulu Simon on the map, at least in my eyes.
Lulu Simon continues to showcase her beauty through sensational storytelling and world-building in the runtimes of her songs, and “Already The End” is a pure example of this. “Having to remind myself it’s already the end/and you are not my friend” is a magical combination. Combined with the track’s atmospheric instrumentation creates a beautiful fusion between heartbreak and moving on.
“Already The End” builds upon the beauty started with “Driftwood” and truly showcases the bottom half of Muscle Memory, being the superior musical experience compared to the EP’s starting portions. “Driftwood” into “Already The End” is a calming combination of sound, a warm hug in the rain, and a beautiful ending with new beginnings.
Once again, I feel the immense grief of Muscle Memory as “Already The End” continues my emotional response by saying goodbye to a sad memory, a memory that has stayed its fair share, and it’s finally time to let the future in.
“Already The End” is perfection built upon sadness, and listeners should naturally gravitate to the replay button regarding Muscle Memory’s fourth track.
“Being Alone is the Best” is a beast all its own, creating the perfect ending to Lulu Simon’s heartbreaking and smile-worthy sophomore EP. Finally, getting a teary response from my eyes, “Being Alone is the Best,” brings an end to a phenomenal EP about the ups and downs of letting love go, regardless if it’s something hard to do or not.
The track continues the subtle use of acoustics combined with Lulu Simon’s haunting vocal melodies to fuel the scenes of desperation and loneliness, transforming into a beautiful thought that everything will be okay in the end.
“Being Alone is the Best” is a beautiful notion to think of, and the track’s heavy-hitting lyrics are touching and filled with the utmost truth. A track that perfectly conveys the feelings that come with knowing the loneliness that comes within the first few days, weeks, and sometimes months of starting a new once more.
Muscle Memory has quickly become one of my favorite EPs released this year, thanks to Lulu Simon’s realistic take on the weight that comes after saying goodbye to a relationship. It’s never easy, but in the end, the stitched-up heart in your chest will continue to beat. With the release of Muscle Memory, Lulu Simon has proven she’s not your typical singer-songwriter and is ready to take on the world with her truth as her weapon of choice.
With the release of Muscle Memory, I’m now excited to see how these songs transform in a live setting. Something that should make for a magically emotional experience.