23-year-old Nicole Rodriguez wrote and co-produced her first EP under the moniker Pearla. Rodriguez is from Brooklyn and grew up in a suburban town in New Jersey.
Quilting & Other Activities was released on September 6th through Egghunt records. This independent Virginia-based label has hatched amazing artists, including Lucy Dacus.
While Pearla is just starting her career, you would never guess it from this record. The six-song compilation has a rare maturity for an artist’s debut project. Beyond the deep lyrics, quilting is not a typical hobby for a 23-year-old. She said, “It is my attempt to take pieces from my past and use them kind of like patches of a quilt; weaving them together as an activity meant for distraction, but also for comfort and healing, and eventually, a transformation into something bigger than the sum of the parts.”
The album starts off with foggy piano licks that set the mystic tone for the record. On the first track, “Quilting,” she finds herself “wrapped in a thick yoke” and invites the listeners in.
Not only does she invite listeners in, she lets them into her inner thoughts. She addresses personal trauma and the difficulty living with that on “Forgive Yourself.” “Can you forgive yourself for turning your back in fear / When that man died on the welcome mat at the coffee shop that you worked at last year?”
In less than 30-minutes, Pearla transports you into the same room as her. Okay — not really, but her final solo acoustic track, “Washing Machine,” feels warm and intimate, like clothes in a dryer.
She has been receiving attention globally, including a feature from Britain’s Gold Flake Paint. The world is listening and cannot wait for what is to come for this New York native.
Recommended If You Like: Lucy Dacus, Big Thief, Julien Baker
Recommended Tracks: 3 (Daydream), 4 (Pear Shaped World)
Do Not Play: 6 (Washing Machine)
Written by Miranda Roberts on 01/16/2020