Debut albums are typically a fun listen since the old adage goes, “You have your entire life to write your first album,” and The Aces’ When My Heart Felt Volcanic is no exception. The all-female group from Provo, Utah is composed of singer/guitarist Cristal Ramirez, her sister/drummer Alisa Ramirez, bassist McKenna Petty, and guitarist Katie Henderson. The Aces core strength relies on vibrant pop hooks and phenomenal guitar work. Their debut single “Stuck” has already been streamed well over 2 million times, and the band continues to build off their momentum with recent tours with the likes of COIN and X Ambassadors.
When My Heart Felt Volcanic is a shimmering debut, perfect for the beginning of Spring, and all of the good vibes that come along with better weather. Their sound on this album can be best described as a mixture between The 1975-esque guitars, and the well thought out hooks similar to HAIM and Paramore. The album starts off with “Volcanic Love” and helps set the tone for the majority of the song structures and concepts found throughout the LP. The aforementioned single, “Stuck” has a bouncy beat throughout and a memorable sing-a-long chorus. Singer, Cristal Ramirez, shines throughout their debut single and showcases an impressive vocal range and style.
“Fake Nice” follows these two tracks with a lower-registered vocal approach for the verses and has a decent build-up to the chorus, reminiscent of “Fake Happy” from Paramore’s “After Laughter” album. The second single, “Lovin’ is Bible” finds The Aces confessing in the lyrics that they “are not religious, but your lovin’ is bible.” This type of creative songwriting approach plays off nicely, considering the youth of the artist, and the polished production found throughout the debut.
The tempo slows down slightly in the middle of the LP with tracks “Just Like That” that features heartbroken lyrics sure to be found tattooed on plenty of millennials’ arms, yet the sophistication of the songwriting is not what you would expect from a group that is barely above the legal drinking age. “The Last One” truly finds The Aces finding their groove as an artist and the bouncy anthem is eerily reminiscent of the The 1975’s “Love Me.”
The latter stages of the album has standout tracks such as “Stay” which has the similar “Dance, Dance” beat from Fall Out Boy and a chorus telling their audience that they “will be breaking their heart if you don’t stay.” With an album that has hit after hit flowing like a fine wine, they won’t have to worry about their audience going anywhere anytime soon.
The influences The Aces draw upon are mainstays in the current music scene. The band has even gone on to say that they would love to tour with the likes of The 1975 and Paramore. With a debut as impressive as When My Heart Volcanic, they may not have to wait too long for that dream to come true.