Yesterday, star-on-the-rise UPSAHL launched her new album to the world during a release party and an exclusive live performance at Pico Union Project in Los Angeles. The place is a multi-faith cultural arts center and the oldest church in Los Angeles, so it was a venue that seems completely appropriate considering the name of her album: ‘Lady Jesus.’
Very early on, UPSAHL, a graduate of the Arizona School for the Arts, managed to gain the attention of many fans in a very DIY manner: her widely-praised single ‘Drugs’ has been used in nearly 2,000,000 TikTok videos, reaching #6 on the TikTok Viral Chart and #1 Sound on the TikTok Trends Chart. The popularity of the song earned her the title of ‘up-and-coming indie-pop queen,’ and after a performance at Lollapalooza, she supported popular acts such as PVRIS, Joywave, BROODS, and Young the Giant in 2019. She was called ‘Artist on the Rise’ by YouTube, and the young artist had a standout following year with the release of her second EP, ‘Young Life Crisis,’ declared as one of the top 25 pop albums of 2020 by Billboard. This year, she co-wrote ‘Good in Bed’ for Dua Lipa’s ‘Future Nostalgia,’ and lent her pen to Madison Beer on her fiery single ‘BOYSHIT,’ and Mike Shinoda’s upbeat anthem ‘Happy Endings.’ This was followed by the release of 2 new singles, ‘Douchebag’ and ‘Melatonin’ off her highly anticipated full-length debut album.
UPSAHL has been on the radar of a lot of people for some time and yesterday night was THE night, the night she unveiled ‘Lady Jesus’ in front of many enthusiastic fans, which made the event quite enjoyable. How could you not be interested in someone who triggers so much positive energy? During her performance, I was wondering whether I was witnessing the making of a household name. If it is the case, it was another reason to appreciate the intimate performance.
Surrounded by her three-piece band, UPSAHL’s appearance was first unassuming — she is a young and petite woman — but as soon as she took the stage and started singing, she was pure fire. During the event, that was live-streamed worldwide, UPSAHL and her band performed the entire album from front to back, an expansive ten-track collection of infectious alt-pop song. And if you are as intrigued by the title of the album as I am, this is what UPSAHL said: ‘Lady Jesus is an energy — a way of life. Lady Jesus is unbothered, fiercely independent, and generally, a badass. Lady Jesus can be dressed to the nines, the life of the party, or can be chilling in sweatpants, hanging with friends. Lady Jesus can be anybody.’
If I am not sure to understand why she used that name, the show was surely not lacking any energy as UPSAHL danced and bounced through the ten songs with an unparallel fiery vitality. While the songs were crossing genres with ease, going from pop, punk, rock, and dance, the sound was mostly poppy and the set was hooks galore with uncensored language: ‘I’m a lunatic, I’m a bitch,’ ‘Don’t know who the fuck you are/Yes, I blacked out at the bar,’ ‘It’s a shitshow, but it’s lit though,’ ‘None of that boyshit weighing me down’ are some of her lines, and she has even made a fun pop song of a popular insult: ‘You’re a douchebag and I can prove that.’ ‘Douchebag was in fact a hard-hitting pop song with quite an attitude, received by the screaming crowd with plenty of phones up in the air. ‘Melatonin’ had funky bass lines and a drunk dancefloor while the big pop hook of ‘Time of my Life’ made everyone jump with joy. From one bass-driven melody to the next, UPSAHL was not even slowing down between songs, running from the left to the right edge of the stage, playing a few bass chords here, jumping off stage to add a few keys as a large piano was set up next to the stage. She even performed a song upstairs, from the church mezzanine, next to the big organs. ‘Lunatic’ was a fiery riot, ‘Sunny D,’ performed in duet with a male singer, was a joyful and bouncy dance number, ‘Thriving,’ ‘Notorious’ and IDFWFEELINGS’ were stomping raucous anthems unfolding new pop hooks for the crowd’s pleasure. When she performed the last and titled song, the chaos was at its peak and it was clear that UPSAHL was reclaiming her ‘Lady Jesus’ title… ‘You are a queen’ screamed the guy next to me.
I read that ‘Lady Jesus’ actually tells the story of a difficult breakup UPSAHL suffered during quarantine in chronological order. However, this wasn’t sad at all, the show was a series of playful pop songs performed with unapologetic attitude, a don’t-fuck-with-me energy, unfiltered lyrics, and a rollercoaster of emotions. She may well be a pop star in the making so don’t miss the occasion to catch one of her shows at an intimate venue this fall before her career blows up.
UPSAHL’s debut album ‘Lady Jesus’ was released today, October 8, via Arista Records
Time of my Life
a top debut ever by Lil Nas X
emo-rockers goes hip hop
a mini Punk Rock Bowling
The Viking warrior of Rock-n-Roll, Norwegian born superstar Rocky Kramer holds the very soul of music in his heart.
Rockstar Review: Steven P. Hamm
a lame 94K EAUs
sounds like Paul McCartney’s early 70s be bopping vibe as covered by the Meters
distinct and wondrous without being obvious or obnoxious
except for the title track the songs are on vacation
simultaneously self-effacing and egomaniacs