EP Review: Mandy Slate – 101

Mandy Slate goes through the various stages of a breakup and emerges stronger than ever on new EP 101.

Since 2021, rising LA-based artist and writer has been releasing tracks that have culminated in the release of her stunning new EP 101. The collection of tracks explore heartbreak, and each represents a different side of letting go of love and the emotions and feelings that come with it. This provides Mandy with a great opportunity to showcase the different sides of her sound and the creative and engaging to highlight her artistic vision.

The EP opens with ‘Loveblind’, a track that also served as the artist’s debut single back in 2021. The track dissects the denial stage of going through a breakup and the way that we will delude ourselves into thinking that things are fine. Despite this, there is an upbeat and almost fun nature to the track, something that will become something of a theme on the EP. The conflicting emotions give the track a really thoughtful edge, but its catchy chorus and appeal ensures that the artist’s affable personality and charm shines through.

‘Machine’ follows and sees the artist transition into the more numbing and emotionless phase, feeling like she has turned into a ‘Machine’ as the title suggests. The feeling of having to suppress your urges and feelings is something that many people will relate to and makes or a poignant and thoughtful track, accentuated by its slick, dark-pop style and the effortlessly cool nature of the sound. The track sits uncomfortably somewhere between monotone and angsty, attempting to hide and mask the way that she feels but with cracks showing throughout.

The EP’s big moment of clarity emerges in the form of the third track ‘I Know You Know’, making for some of the release’s most earnest and vulnerable moments. The artist opens up here in engaging fashion, alongside laid-back beats and a lush soundscape, making for a breezy, easy to listen to track that serves as both a moment of catharsis and a real turning point on the EP. The swirling melodies and charming atmosphere of the track makes for one of the artist’s most aesthetically pleasing moments.

The artist’s transformation is completed on the EP’s closer ‘Like I Do’, with the vibrancy and energy of the sound turned all the way up on a track that sees her moving on and coming to terms with her reality. There is an empowering and powerful feel to the track throughout, with her effortless coolness and the engaging electronic production dominating the sound throughout.

101 is an EP that feels like a genuine emotional journey in just four tracks. The different facets and styles to the artist’s electro-pop sound are explored in a way that effortlessly suits each track and gives it its own personality and unique appeal, and she perfectly characterises each step of her process as she emerges from her breakup. Whether you are going through something similar, or are just looking for a memorable and thoughtful pop sound that is packed full of adventure and creativity, this collection of tracks has a lot to love and sink your teeth into, and serves as a showcase of what Mandy Slate is capable of.