ALBUM REVIEW: “Journal of Ardency EP” by Class Actress
NYC trio Class Actress plays New Order-influenced synth pop built around Elizabeth Harper’s silky, breezily confident vocals. Their debut EP opens with the restrained but catchy “Careful What You Say,” on which scaled-back instrumentation lets Harper’s voice take center stage even though she’s also holding back. The title track and “Someone Real” step up the intensity with harder electronic beats, but never aim for dance-floor domination, showing that personality matters more than musical heft when you have such a charismatic frontwoman cooing and sighing her way through the songs. “Let Me Take You Out” is a driving, sparkling pop song with more traditional rock instrumentation adding a welcome new dimension to the band’s sound. Standout track “Adolescent Heart” is another upbeat stunner, with lush vocal harmonies and a softer side of Harper making an appearance as she sings that she wants to “Reach out to your broken adolescent heart / Let me love you / It doesn’t have to be so hard.” Journal of Ardency is a welcome introduction to a talented songwriter and performer, and clearly just the beginning for Class Actress.