In her basement studio in British Columbia, singer-songwriter Darrian Gerard writes, records and produces all of her own songs. Eschewing the lo-fi, DIY aesthetic, she has emerged from her subterranean workshop with a five song EP, the more than appropriately titled “Basement Stadium.” While its basic origins are humble, its sound is anything but rustic. On this EP, Gerard would fill out a grand arena with her massive alt-rock sound.
One of Gerard’s musical influences is pop-punk queen and fellow Canadian, Avril Lavigne. The opening track, “Explosion,” gives a nod to the edgy attitude of the early 00s, TRL era star, but with a darker, alt-rock undertone. At the beginning, it toys around with a darkwave energy, but all of that gives way to a hard rocking cut that also exudes playful levels of angst. In turn, the following track, “Powerless,” which we’ve previously featured, commits to a darkwave, synth-laden alt-rock round of melancholic isolation.
“Everybody’s Mad At Me” picks up the angst torch from “Explosion.” However, it starts out much more downtempo by comparison, opting to crumble under the weight of the world than explode it all to smithereens. Eventually, a larger soundscape takes shape with downtrodden drum beats that escalate the vibes of dejection this track gives off. Also, the rising tension added by hints of a string accompaniment makes for a sneaky effective mood shifting device.
“Backseat Driver” reverts back to the more traditional pop-punk sound as Gerard serves up an independence anthem. It has a driving, bass-led melody that screams, crank it up, hit the open road and let your intuition be your guide. On the flip side, the closer, “Old Wounds” is introspective to the point of inflicting ancient heartaches back upon yourself. Out of all of these tracks, it is the most in your bag, naturally discontented cut of them all.
Altogether, “Basement Stadium” showcases how much of a boss Gerard is. The fact that she oversaw the vital points of this EP’s production underscores how impressive the final product really is. Proving herself to be a dynamic force to be reckoned with, Gerard eclipses the confines of her basement studio with an incredibly powerful collection of impassioned pop rock.
Written by Travis Boyer
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