The 17-year-old Aussie pop/rap/electro hybrid Mallrat makes fun, flirty jaunts on a sliding spectrum of singing, sing-song rap, and rapping. She’s gearing up to release her debut EP, and has had a solid string of buzz-inducing singles over the last year or so. Her latest is the bouncy, playful “For Real.” ’80s dance piano rhythms, synth bass, and dry drums bolster her versatile flow. She constantly shifts gears between singing and rapping while detailing a nonchalant day with an easy, real love. The repeated refrain “When you smile for real/ You make me smile for real” hints at a genuine connection that she builds upon with intimate, vulnerable details like “When you’re around I feel like less of a freak.” The playfulness of the enveloping aesthetic contrasting with the raw, candid lyrics and storytelling makes for wonderful incongruity and subtly touching experience. Mallrat had this to say about the song: “I’m not sure if ‘For Real’ is a happy song or a sad song but I hope people can attach it to some memory and decide for themselves.
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