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A One Stop Shop for the Riffs and all the Rhymes You Need to Hear

Molly O'Malley with The Cage, a music discovery blog by Cage Riot
Photo Credit: Kaitlyn Johnston

Molly O’Malley’s latest EP hints at a sonic range and lyrical maturity that many artists fail to master over an entire career, never mind within a single project. After recently having the privilege of exploring their entire discography, this project is, in my opinion, their most exciting piece of work to date. The EP is a study on themes of love, losing it and the rediscovery of oneself in a world that challenges even the most sheltered individuals. Molly has managed to channel the bridges burned and lessons learned from these experiences into their art and produce Nobody Parties (Like Molly). It is a clear summation of their vocal and instrumental progression from day one and a testament to the work ethic they’ve maintained over the years since Cheers in 2018.

Molly O'Malley EP Nobody Parties (Like Molly) - The Cage, a music blog by Cage Riot
Nobody Parties (Like Molly)

Track one tells us of narcissists who tear through the vulnerable, with no remorse for the damage they leave in their wake. However, even the most timid personalities reach their limit. The song is very much a representation of the pot boiling over, and the cathartic release of rage I’m sure many can relate to when leaving a person like that behind. Something I love about "Diern" is that it’s actually about an unhealthy friendship, not a romance. There are thousands of songs about breakups and betrayals of a partner, but there aren’t enough love songs or callouts for friends. I don’t think enough light is shed on the impact of toxic friendships and the liberation of being able to cut someone out of your life, regardless of the type of relationship you share. You can absolutely break up with a friend too.

The instrumentals convey both Molly’s anger and the turbulence of this friendship from the outset. Full and fuzzy guitars stoke the fire of the track and cook up an atmosphere that will make you want to kick over the restaurant table during someone else’s meal.

The writing within this track perfectly matches the gnarly guitar work. Molly does not shy away from bold and honest statements such as ‘you make me wanna die right now’ to close out each chorus and sings every line with the power and conviction of someone meaning every single word. A personal favourite of mine, is a line from the chorus, ‘think twice about what slides through your teeth because veneers stay sharp when bones are weak’. A suggestion of the verbal poison this friend threw about without a second thought, even when Molly was at their most fragile.

The "Diern" music video works in perfect harmony to continue the fury that the track builds in lyrics and instrumentals. The artist wields weapons of a hammer and baseball bat under a cold, harsh lens to provide the perfect visuals for the mood. Alex Zarek’s use of a spotlight shows the singer for everything that they are in that moment – unbridled and unapologetically themself. They no longer need to be someone else, as detailed in the lyrics of the second verse.

The tonal shift from tracks one to two is stark, but not without reason. The track listing perfectly paints a picture of breaking free from the conflict of Diern and beginning the healing process.

"Hopscotch" is the fallout. A beautiful song expressing the dreamy and tentative next step in the journey of finding yourself once more and learning to trust again. In Hopscotch we see Molly rebuilding themself among the rubble of "Diern", alongside someone they have found safety in.

The punked up guitar work from track one takes a back seat to allow for steady beats and melodic keys to carry us through the airy motions of the track. After the guarded and hard exterior we were presented with in "Diern", we are granted entry into the mind of O’Malley with raw and heart-breaking lyrics such as ‘I forgot what it felt like to feel afraid to lose someone that I can’t replace’. "Hopscotch" gifts us some of Molly’s best vocals; the descent on the last line of its first pre chorus is gorgeous and one of my favourite moments among those three minutes. The song leaves us on a stripped back acoustic strum and Molly’s bittersweet realisation, ‘someone’s telling me that I’m worth something…there’s a first time for everything’.

While the third and final track on this EP continues the free and floating tones kicked off in Hopscotch, its lyric reminds us of the very real and common insecurities that may be at play in the cool down of an experience detailed in Diern: ‘the poison you left, it lingers’. In "Golden Hour", Molly speaks of co-dependency and the people pleaser they have become in the aftershocks of being used for the gain of an egomaniac: ‘just call me a one stop shop for the emotions and all the words you need to hear’. In "Golden Hour", we witness the singer completely aware of these behaviors that have developed, but not quite confident enough to let them go on this winding road of self-discovery. Finishing the hattrick of gorgeous vocals on Nobody Parties (Like Molly), the track earns its place on this EP and its status as leading single.

With the news that Molly’s first album is in the works, this is the perfect time to indulge in their catalogue. I have nothing but excitement for the work that will come out of that studio and hopefully soon!

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Get In The Cage! a global music discovery publication by Cage Riot.

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