I’ve been gushing over Real by indie-pop singer-songwriter Dezirae Schalice for weeks now. Since its release on September 16th, I’ve been captivated by Dezirae’s work during my walks on campus and in the studio. Dezirae remarkably infuses electronic keys, distorted guitars, and honest, metaphorical lyrics in her songs about topics such as gaining independence, confronting demons, and questioning what is “real.” There was a lot of excitement and anticipation over this album after Dezirae’s 2018 single “Beautiful People,” and several others came out and left many craving a full release. Real was undoubtedly worth the wait! Below are my thoughts on 5 tunes off of Real:
Kicking off the album with “Loosen Up My Tongue” was a smart move. The atmospheric guitars at the beginning draw the listener in. This song has a sense of psychedelia and contains cool musical elements that give it its trip. The use of the bells is highly mind-bending. “Loosen Up My Tongue” invites us into Dezirae’s world and captivates listeners right off the bat.
The vulnerability it takes to write a song like “My Demons” is incredible. The lyrics are truly heartbreaking and honest. Many can relate to being at war with themselves and feeling hopeless. One can hear the raw emotion in Dezirae’s voice, and the harmonies are stunning and add to the power behind this enchanting song. “My Demons” confronts internal struggles that resonate with many.
Twisted and sexy are two words I would use to describe “My Fault.” The line “Maybe I took the apple just to bite it/And maybe I liked it,” is possibly the favorite line of mine off the album. “My Fault” has a sultry and mischievous tone. The drums stick out to me with how they build up to the chorus and the neat fills tucked in throughout the tune. Also, I love myself a good horn section. The effects on the vocals and the call-and-response technique frequently used are unique aspects of the “My Fault.”
“Not This Time” is the boost of empowerment I’ve been longing for in a song! Lyrics like “This is my own damn story/This is my own damn song,” and “I’m granting myself grace/Excuse me for the lack of shame,” are ones that are likely to be shouted in the shower. “Not This Time” is about taking charge of your life and not being so hard on yourself. Whether you’ve recently quit a job that didn’t serve you well, or left a partner that hindered your confidence, this song will leave you feeling strong and loving your new-found independence. “Not This Time” is an example of the many positive messages that that you can find in Dezirae’s work.
The beautiful piano ballad that is “Real” shook me to the core. It makes sense why this is the title track, with its gripping lyrics and the power behind Dezirae’s voice shining through. The line “Slowly how you crept it/ stealing drops of serotonin/making me see what you want and leaving me distraught,” is an example of how transparent “Real” is. The song presented itself to me as being about how despite the fact manipulation can distort one’s perception, one can become “free” and overcome with a new sense of self. Dezirae’s vocals and words leave a lasting impact in “Real,” and I can only imagine how intimate this song is performed live. Dezirae sings every word with raw emotion, and it’s truly captivating, and the song gave me major goosebumps.
I urge you to listen to “Real” in its entirety. Dezirae Schalice is one to look out for in the Chicago-land music scene! Her uniqueness, creativity, and talent make her the star that she is! Make sure to follow her on Instagram and Facebook! She’ll also be joining me in-studio for Local Chaos on October 6th for a live performance and interview! Don’t miss it!