Irish artist April releases her new mixtape STARLANE today, out now on Atlantic Records UK.
Inspired by her move to London from her small town in County Kildare,STARLANE is a moodboard of April’s exploratory new era, distilling an intense period of transience and independence into high-octane pop.
Today’s release is marked by new EP highlight ‘See-Through’, which premiered last night on BBC Radio1 as Clara Amfo’s ‘Hottest Record In The World’, and follows earlier cuts ‘Impossible’ featuring Norwegian alt-pop artist and producer Jimi Somewhere, and ‘54321’.
At the beginning of this year, everything changed for April. As well as moving London, she was recently single, and navigating her early 20s in a new place; “I was going out a lot and partying – kind of escaping reality, doing dumb stuff and looking for that thrill of life.” Those first few months in London proved a pivotal, perspective-shaping chapter for April, who “learned to love being by myself again”, and set the foundations of STARLANE in motion.
Through the mixtape, April weaves in the threads of UK Garage and drum’n’bass that pulsed through the countless nights spent exploring her new city, inspired too by the eclectic, genre-hopping pop of artists like PinkPantheress and Shygirl.
The mixtape was produced primarily with rising producer RISC (Cat Burns, dexter, Sophia Alexa) with further contributions from Josh Scarbrow (Arlo Parks, Rachel Chinouriri), Tobie Tripp (Tom Misch), Danny Casio (Joy Crookes, Griff), Matt Maltese and long-time collaborators Frank Collucci and Fred MacPherson of Spector.
Named for the local DLR station near where much of it was recorded, STARLANE has a newfound self-assuredness at its heart, blending the alternative strands of April’s earlier releases with pop punch. On the mixtape’s release, April comments; “STARLANE is mostly about self-discovery, adventures and figuring out who you are. I named it for the local DLR station where most of it was written because I felt like the name fit the music – it feels like magic and change. If I could summarise my mixtape with one lyric from it – it would be this line from the track ‘Distraction’ – ‘I’m sad she didn’t make it / but I’m glad I didn’t fake it any longer than I had to.’ I really love this line because it’s about letting go of a past self and accepting change. I love the juxtaposition of vulnerable and personal lyrics with high-energy production – it really feels like a cathartic release…”
Reflecting her situation – locked down in her hometown – those releases were characterised by glittering, often slow burning alt-pop.
Her intimate vocals and clever pop hooks earned her widespread support – with accolades including a 4-star EP review from NME, support on BBC Radio1 from Jack Saunders, Clara Amfo and Annie Mac, and a feature on Alfie Templeman’s song ‘One More Day’. April’s 2022 saw her sign Atlantic Records UK, kicking off the partnership with the release of her previous EP When it Comes To You and its standout single ‘Hotel‘.
On the live front, she played a host of Summer festivals, showcased at The Great Escape and joined Claud for a tour through Europe and the UK. The release of STARLANE marks not only the beginning of a personal chapter for April – it also establishes in full clarity an artist who is only just getting started.