In recent years singer/songwriter and guitarist Liv Slingerland has quickly proven herself a wellspring of electrifying alt-pop. Even if you’ve yet to be baptized in her ferociously cathartic and captivating music, there’s a good chance her exhilarating riffs have graced your ears. From rising pop stars to indie artists, she’s divided her time between touring with a wide range of performers and recording her own music.
Only a few years ago, Slingerland was tearing it up alongside Olivia Rodrigo during her performance on SNL and for the virtual concert SOUR prom. She’s also contributed to the live shows of Lauren Ruth Ward and Donna Missal — building a reputation as an in-demand guitarist in the process. Today, she’s making waves as part of Post Malone’s band, dazzling onstage with her fearsomely alluring guitar chops.
But despite her success as a riveting touring artist, her aspirations had always been set on releasing a debut album. When her father passed away in 2020, she felt spurred by the loss to finally complete the long-simmering record as a tribute to the person she considered her biggest fan. Of course, given the timing, she also had to overcome the isolation and upheaval caused by the pandemic.
When Hey You finally arrived two years later, in 2022, it confirmed Slingerland to be one of those rare melders of rock and pop. One who refused to compromise or dilute the emotive power of the former’s volcanic energy with the latter’s sonic hooks. Instead, the album finds a thrilling balance between her love of scintillating riffs and punchy synth textures and bass.
Its title track, “Hey You,” is a fiery example of that rapt synthesis, while tracks like the dreamily gleaming “Running Away From the Party” and the acoustic-led descent into effervescent electronica that occurs on “Temporary Letdown” revealed her knack for creating propulsive anthems.
With her debut behind her, Slingerland is moving forward toward the release of a new EP. Its first single, “In the Stars,” finds her embracing bolder mixtures of confessional alt-rock and galvanizing electro-pop. Combining a tangle of acoustic riffs and the engrossing impacts of drums with a soul-vaporizing crescendo of accelerating synthesizers.
The second single, “Better Than,” trades the miseries of the heart brought on by a long-distance relationship for a gleefully flippant rebuke of a now ex-lover. “Yeah, you’re texting all your friends / I’ve been leaving you on read,” she coos alongside glimmering acoustics and addictively brash bass. “Wasn’t just another ex / No I’m better than, better than.” Both tracks are a reminder that Slingerland still has plenty more intoxicating bangers up her sleeve.
Words: Steven Ward