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EP Review: Carlie Hanson – ‘Junk’



If your ego can’t handle seeing undeniable talent and success from those younger than you, stay away from Carlie Hanson. With Junk—her first extended release—19-year-old Hanson delivers a perfect alt-pop debut full of lyrics that will make you say, I wish I wrote that.

Raised in a small town in Wisconsin, Hanson moved to Los Angeles to pursue her music career at just 17 years old. Her suburban background and love for Flamin’ Hot Cheetos fuel the relatability of her songwriting even when her talent soars beyond her years.

Even more impressive (or infuriating, depending on your level of envy), Hanson played her first live show just a little over a year ago in May 2018. Since then, she has toured with the likes of YUNGBLUD, Gnash and Troye Sivan, with whom she played Radio City Music Hall a mere four months after her first performance. Crazy, right?

Hanson signed to Warner Records in February at 18 years old. Junk marks her first major release since, and it’s safe to say she won’t be dropped any time soon.

Opening track “Bored With You” starts with a voice memo of Hanson beatboxing, kicking the record off on an intoxicating note.

“Back in My Arms” secured Hanson a spot on Taylor Swift’s Apple Music playlist (her 2017 single “Only One” also won a coveted spot on Swift’s list) and it’s easy to see why. The genre-melding track blends The 1975-esque pop music with pop-punk/emo lyrical tendencies.

Standout track “WYA” finds Hanson singing to her future self: “Did the money go straight to your head, girl? / Did you grow up a little too fast, girl?”. (Side note: we hope not.)

The lyrical introspection continues on fourth track “Cigarettes”: “Got a couple cigarettes in a dirty ashtray / Overflowing with regrets and the things I didn’t say”.

The EP closes on a more emotional note with “Hazel,” an ode to a friend suffering from depression. Complete with a grungier sound, “Hazel” confirms that Hanson is not your average pop act.

Things are just heating up for Carlie Hanson and in all likelihood, it will be a while before they start slowing down. The rest of the year will find her on tour with Lauv in Australia and New Zealand in November. As for a full-length album? There’s no word yet, but you bet we’ll be keeping an eye out. Until then, we’ll have Junk on repeat.



Justin Bieber
Billie Eilish

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