If, like me,you can be a bit of a music snob when you read of the latest Tik Tok / Instagram / You Tube ‘influencer’ who has decided to have a go at pop music then it’s very easy to choke on your own spew of cynicism.
That’s certainly how I felt when I first learnt that Abby Roberts was releasing music. Yes, that Abby Roberts. The make-up / transformation artist who has 17.4 million followers on Tik Tok. Of course, there’s a reason why she has so many followers; what she does on social media is extremely creative and way above the norm. However, that doesn’t mean that a transition to another art form will automatically be as brilliant. Then there's the matter of having the luxury of a huge following on a number of platforms being seen as an unfair advantage over other new musicians.
But that distrust and jaded negativity got thrown in the bin as soon as I heard Abby’s debut song Paramaniac. It’s a delightful swirling, chiming indie guitar piece with airy vocals that remind me of Beabadoobee, Clairo and many late 80’s / early 90’s indie rock bands. As you would expect from someone who has grown up in the public gaze on social media the song is very self-aware: “I wish strangers liked me more, social media’s a bore, might be best if I just quit, does that make me a hypocrite?” she sings at one point. It reminds me a little lyrically of the likes of Baby Queen and Wallice, both whom have featured on Breaking More Waves. However, despite those reference points it also stands alone. After hearing it once I played it at least ten times non-stop it’s that good.
There’s a full EP on the way as well, with Abby not shying away from dealing with her life and the filtered façade of what she does on line, together with the personal struggles and pressures that her job brings. If it’s anything as wonderful as Paramaniac then the switch to music can only be applauded; this is a superb start.
Abby Roberts - Paramaniac