On the latest EP from Luna Aura, she explores the female identity and the relationship to American culture and society. Three Cheers for the American Beauty is a hard-hitting record that leaves you wondering whether it’s time to dance, take notice, or join her army of followers. With the pompous stomp of electronica acts such as NIN, to the riot girl approach of bands such as Hole and Garbage, Luna Aura is starting to emerge as a true artist to watch as the year unfolds. With a voice that is equally sweet as it is powerful, she tackles an array of topics on this record that hits its mark more often than not.
The record opens with the slow-burning “Crash Dive,” as the guitar riffs carefully start over Luna Aura’s voice until the noise gets cranked up on the chorus. The transition to the full-blown rock and roll chorus is reminiscent of rock veterans such as Jack White and Luna Aura hits just as hard. Second track, “Honey” picks up the pace quite a bit from the cautious opener, and finds Luna Aura exploring her sexual identity as she blazes a true path forward in her own self-discovery. The mix of genres and stylistic choices found on this record not only speaks to her influences as much as it does her way of incorporating several sounds into a blender of female-fronted rock bliss.
”Talking to Me” features a great programmed beat and pulsating bass line that allows Luna Aura to near-rap over the music and continue her evolution over just a few short songs span. Her repeated lines in the bridge of “I’m not your little girl / I’m not your friend / Can’t tell me what I am / Can’t tell me shit,” make for a great and empowering moment on the EP that is filled with memorable moments.
The electronica-tinged “Papercut” explores the darker side of her personality, and reminded me of some of the brooding tracks found on K Flay’s debut. The EP closer “Babydoll” kicks off with an abrasive sound that bleeds away into a pleasing pop chorus. Luna Aura continues to explore the superficial price of beauty that society puts on young women, and she leaves her audience with an empowering message of doing what’s best for yourself to find your own piece of happiness.
Three Cheers for the American Beauty in many ways is an investigation into all the wrong things that society does for the feelings of self-worth and belonging in a non-authentic way. Luna Aura takes this path of self-discovery all in stride as she crafts a collection of songs that directly have a strong message of finding the inner beauty in yourself and blocking out the negative vibes that can be brought forth from the false projections of beauty in the digital age. This artist understands not only the impact of her positive message, but has the musical chops to back up her words in a meaningful and ear-pleasing way.