Infatuation, heartbreak and empowerment are the universal pillars of Bleed, a glistening EP of alt-pop bangers courtesy of Mishayla.
Mishayla has released Bleed, a five-song collection of heartbreak and empowerment that serves as the singer-songwriter’s debut EP. The EP opens with Hold Back, an alt-pop gem that’s underpinned by a catchy guitar riff and polished by Mishayla’s textured vocals.
With glistening vocal melodies, the 20-year-old musician muses on the toxicity of a relationship, with searing lyricism that belies the track’s otherwise mellow groove.
Hold Back later introduces louder guitar strums and the shimmer of backing cymbals, all accompanied by Mishayla’s reflections on “bottling everything in” and “burning to be free.” The acoustic feel is continued on Bleed lead single Relapse, which pairs its guitar-driven production with a storytelling odyssey of finding self-worth in a relationship.
Mishayla harmonises with mesmerising clarity atop punchy drums, before accelerating her cadence in the style of Olivia Rodrigo’s brutal. Eliciting both Rodrigo and her peers like Lizzy McAlpine and Tobey Lynn, Mishayla forefronts her ascendant vocals without losing sight of thoughtful lyricism. “Never come home,” she laments “but you call me on the phone when you need something.”
Mishayla’s flair for vivid storytelling is equally apparent on Crave Me, which serves as the EP’s clearest venture into RnB territory. In between slinky trap beats, she sings in sauntering vocals of the all-consuming nature of a newfound crush. Not bound to a singular genre, Crave Me subtly introduces an electric guitar before affording it an all-out solo, adding a grungy flair to Mishayla’s calls for intimacy.
Mishayla tries her hand at soft-pop balladry on penultimate track Rare, a down-tempo cut that shimmers with acoustic guitars and airy backing melodies. Perhaps the EP’s most heartbreaking entry, Rare details the fall from grace that follows a honeymoon period — when “perceptions change” and a lover loses their lustre. It’s the kind of diary-like storytelling that’s felt all throughout Bleed, but the intimacy of Mishayla’s lyrics is especially clear on Rare.
Bleed closes on a happier note with its title track, marking Mishayla’s most euphoric rendering of love. With catchy tambourines and musings on “grow[ing] old together,” the EP closer “describes a beautiful relationship and being one with another person,” Mishayla explained in a press statement. Doo-wop harmonies and finger clicks punctuate the track’s lyrical feel, as if Mishayla has learned from the experiences of previous songs and come out on top.
Arriving last year, Bleed single Relapse served as Mishayla’s debut release, and quickly made waves on Triple J Unearthed. The EP was created in collaboration with producer Mitta Norath, and has been accompanied by an official music video for Hold Back. Watch that clip, directed by Cameron Utiger, above and listen to Mishayla’s new EP Bleed below.