Hot Artist Alert: Lorelei Marcell looks back to look ahead on stellar debut EP

Lorelei Marcell
Photo by Lauren Desberg

On the opening track of her self-titled debut EP, singer/songwriter Lorelei Marcell makes a difficult affirmation to not hold herself to the impossible expectations of others. “I’ve been a little too naive and a little too loyal, you’ve been like a bullet in the breeze a little too spoiled,” she concedes between the buoyant splash of scattered beats, just before they explode effervescently on the song’s soaring chorus. It’s a sobering realization, but it’s far from the only one on the EP — which functions just as much as an introduction to the 18-year-old and recent high school graduate’s musical prowess, as well as an introspective digestion of her experiences thus far.

Originally from the Boston suburbs, Marcell was musically inclined from a young age — she performed in every school musical she could, took vocal lessons, and devoted ceaseless hours to singing at open mics, in cafés, and at restaurants. In high school at this time, Marcell started to garner attention with her covers of Rihanna, Al Green, and Matt Simons which she began posting online, but it was the breakout love over her debut single “Losing Myself” that would put her on the radar of so many fans.

After graduating, Marcell made the difficult move from her home in Boston to Los Angeles, leaving behind her family and the life she’d known for the opportunity to start her journey as a writer and singer. On the crestfallen “Biggest Fan” she picks through the memories of the kind of foundational love she left behind with the move, but with a tenderness and maturity beyond her years.

Other songs, like the synth-cascading “Eyes Closed” or the slick-guitar lines of finger-snapper “Billion Reasons,” dig deeper into the hard lessons Marcell has learned when it comes to truly seeing people for who they are — for better or worse. Whether it’s trying to lucidly look past the initial infatuation or reckoning with the realization that the only way to respond to someone’s unchanging toxic behavior is to let them go, Marcell holds the magical moments close to her heart for warmth just as she does the dismal ones because of what they’ve taught her.

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Against a stream of synth explosions and her own exuberant vocals, “Summertime High” is an ecstatic anthem that burns off any residual gloom with bright memories of Marcell’s home (Boston common, a favorite summer hang for her, gets a shoutout). Then there is album closer “Human Nature,” a verifiable vibe check that ensures her EP ends on the absolute right note. Between its disco-leaning drums and concussive bass, as well as a distant glittery guitar, Marcell happily loses herself and us in the sublime currents of her broadly textured sonics.

With a debut EP under her belt and a supporting tour slated this fall for Transviolet, Marcell’s star is rising fast, and rightly so. In a similar vein as other intrepid and lyrically whetted singer/songwriters like Maggie Rogers, the name of Lorelei Marcell is one you’ll want to have pre-saved and following.

“This is just the start of my journey as a writer and singer, and I’m excited to turn the page while using this collection of music as a stepping stone,” Marcell said of the EP. “When you listen to me, I hope you’re intrigued. I want to make you ask, ‘Who is this girl? What is she giving us?’ This is just the first chapter, and I feel like I have so much more to give.”

Lorelei Marcell’s self-titled EP is out now and available here. She will also be going on tour in support of Transviolet with stops at the Constellation Room in Santa Ana on Sept. 8, The Echo in Los Angeles on Oct. 14 and at Soda Bar in San Diego on Sept. 9. Visit her website, Twitter, and Instagram to stay updated on new releases and tour announcements.

Listen to Lorelei Marcell’s new self-titled debut EP below!

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