Little Misty Miller isn’t so little anymore. She’s lived, she’s loved, she’s lost. She’s done all the things that young women do, including re-vamping their images. On her latest release, Girlfriend EP, the eighteen-year-old British singer has evolved from sweet hippie songstress to badass punk chick, and no, she doesn’t want to be your girlfriend anymore.
As much as I hate to bring up pop star Taylor Swift in civilized conversation, weighing the differences between these two artists seems like a fair, fitting comparison. The 23-year-old Swift and 18-year-old Miller are both young women who write songs about heartbreak, revenge, and coming of age. But while the saccharine Swift churns out manufactured radio hits that sound about as fake as her relationships probably are, Misty Miller has a clear knack for writing lyrics that capture exactly how teenaged girls really feel. Have you ever spotted your ex holding hands with his new lady, just a little bit too soon? Misty has. “I was walking alone and I see you with your girl, and I’m like, no,” she sings on “You Know What I Mean.” Ever grown sick and tired of a young relationship that started to feel old? Misty’s covered that as well, quite fittingly on “Girlfriend,” the EP’s tantalizing title track: “I was your girlfriend/Just call me Liza/Though I despise ya/Every moment I get.”
Obviously, Miller has spent the past few years brushing up on her Rock N’ Roll 101. Throughout Girlfriend, there are several nods to Patti Smith, especially the tracks’ ever-dynamic, shrieking vocals. Miller also incorporates the clangy guitars and simple, melodic pleasures of rockabilly into her new sound, as well as the slow tempo of vintage country ballads (“Devil” and “Lonesome Cowboy”). “Little Drummer” is an excellent closing track, a slick, impassioned Johnny-Cash-meets-Florence-Welch send off.
From the first day of high school to the last four years later, I was a completely different person. After all, that’s what your teen years are for: growing up. Misty Miller does just that on the Girlfriend EP, a short-but-sweet set-up for the full-length debut of a mature, promising new artist just beginning to reach her prime.