Trophy Wife has delivered not only one of the year’s great EPs, but ‘Voyeur’ firmly cements 22-year old McKenzie Iazzetta as an artist to watch for years to come.

Only a few seconds are needed to realize that Trophy Wife‘s third EP, Voyeur, is going to be an unforgettable ride. It’s not the sobering, delayed guitar and methodical bass drum that open the record’s first track, “Ask Me Anything”. Nor is it how the song opens up and becomes, at first, a melodic dream before giving way to a gritty and eruptive climax. Rather, project mastermind McKenzie Iazzetta’s words signal that the mini-album will not tread in safe, predictable places. Through the initial lush layers, she emotionally sings, “Will you come and ask how I am, so I can lie to you? / When I bury my stomach underneath the floor boards, so I can settle my guilt.”

This sense of wanting to be heard also runs both ways. “I know that you would rather deal with yourself than talk to me, than talk to me, about anything”, Iazzetta pleads to her friend just before the song soars, as a wave of reverb-drenched guitars cascades around her. And the emotional roller coaster has left the station, but it has hardly reached its peak.

For another four songs, the project of Connecticut-born, Brooklyn-based Iazzetta astounds. On “Linoleum”, Trophy Wife’s sound is even bolder. Reminiscent of Epic-era Sharon Van Etten, the track kicks off with an explosion of guitar and drums, which is subdued by Iazzetta’s tranquil voice. The quieter moments on “Linoleum” are stunning, but there’s a constant reminder that at any moment the wall of guitar and drums can break through at any moment. Guitar gets just a bit louder, but then Iazzetta’s voice overpowers the distortion. She is breaking through the noise to seek the truth from her partner. “You keep your words in your stomach,” she emphatically states. Then later she wonders out loud, “Do you ever think about me?”, although she knows the answer.

The ride descends on “Baby’s Breath”, as Iazzetta eases off the accelerator on this urgent yet dreamy number. As drums and a gauzy guitar methodically rumble, she further dives into this tale of two people going in separate directions – one refusing to grow up and the other wanting to go beyond the partying days. With defiance in her voice, Trophy Wife shares:

“Pushin’ thumbs in bruises
Keepin’ score who wins who loses
Then you said “That’s enough!
I’ll get my friends to leave and you can go inside.”
Sure know how to butter you up”

Upwards Iazzetta returns, heading to lush but gritty grounds on the sensational “Enough”. As the song teeters the boundaries of full-on indie-rock onslaught and rabbit hole-like dreaminess, Iazzetta’s emotive yet brittle voice makes it clear that this setting was not made from fond memories or euphoric moments. On the contrary, she recounts the events that have forever scarred her.

“Here comes another fright
Not quite enough to drink tonight
Tell me if I got this right the last time
Said lookin’ backward makes you tired

And you said, ‘You knew what this was cause I warned you.’
But I knew quite enough haven’t I told you”

While most rides end with an easy glide, Trophy Wife refuses to go out with a whimper. A throbbing bass accompanies Iazzetta’s whispery vocal. “Say it louder, think I’m misunderstood / I’m not starving, I just don’t feel very good,” she sings right at the start of this dark, Gothic-tinged number. Slowly, the intensity builds, as a lingering guitar and tapping percussion emerge. The song rises and rises, growing into a searing, explosive finale, at which point Iazzetta delivers a primal scream. Her yelling is not one of exhilaration or gleeful fright, but that of a young person who has had enough. Of a young person who wants clarity.

“Would you look me in my eyes
Just this time
And tell me it’s fine
Oh you know I’m right
So put your hands over my eyes
And let me drive
Just tell me it’s fine”

One thing is clear, Trophy Wife has delivered not only one of the year’s great EPs, but Voyeur makes the 22-year old singer-songwriter an artist to watch for years to come.

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