Victoria Beverly Walker, better known as PinkPantheress, has had a whirlwind of a year. The twenty-two year old artist rose to heightened fame after releasing “Boy’s a liar Pt. 2” with Ice Spice in February. After garnering over seven-hundred million streams on Spotify, the song remains a staple soundtrack of 2023.
Following this success, the artist has released multiple other tracks such as “Angel (From Barbie The Album)” and “Turn Your Phone Off” with Destroy Lonely. She even joined Troye Sivan and Hyunjin in his remix of breakout song “Rush.” With all of these releases, PinkPantheress had been hinting at her latest project: her debut album “Heaven knows.”
As a fan of PinkPantheress, I have been anticipating her debut album since the release of her first single “Break It Off” in 2021. Her ability to transform common themes in a revolutionary way is aided by the playful beats that define all her short songs and her distinctive and highly delicate voice.
Immediately following the release of the album on Nov. 10, I was instantly enamored with all of its songs. “Heaven knows” is an exploration of the singer’s artistry that has not been delved into until now. While PinkPantheress’s music is characterized by its whimsicality, the usual themes her music explores are anything but joyous. The singer’s debut album draws upon experiences from her own life while creating a listening experience that draws fans in.
After listening to the entirety of the album, I was struck by the diverse landscape of auditory manipulation. “Mosquito” is one of the lead singles from the album and rightfully deserves its prominence as a standout song. A striking lyric that demonstrates PinkPantheress’s versatility as an artist is: “I was too young startin’ out, now I’m too scared that you might leave me / I feel like I’m still a child because I always cross my fingers.” By reflecting on her youth, she acknowledges the consequences of gaining fame when she was still figuring out the world around her. These honest lyrics complement the ringtone-like musicality and sharp background effects such as the sound of glass shattering.
Songs such as “Feelings” turn down the tempo of the album, paying tribute to the emotions that the artist grapples with on a daily basis. PinkPantheress once again refers to her youth as a contentious aspect of her success: “I realize that I’m peakin’ too early / But I don’t want that makin’ you worry / ‘Cause no one ever told me to wo-.” The melancholic bass and snare drum effect in the background draw from elements in both R&B and hip-hop. She crafts emotion within the juxtaposition of her lyricism and musical aurora.
PinkPantheress’s ability to draw from a diverse array of musical disciplines is once again evident in the song “True romance.” The strumming guitar that opens the track conveys a common theme in her artistry: experimentation.
From the very first listen, my favorite song was “The aisle.” It first appears to be a cheerful tune that plausibly transports the listener to a heightened reality of bliss and fanciful encounters. However, there is a melancholic sentiment rooted in her despondent lyricism: “It’s one of those unfortunate things (Things) / That bad things always happen to me (To me).” This sadness is a contradicting force that complements the lullaby-like tune. She admits her true fears and hesitations in this album. In this song, she even continues to say, “I ruined all my friendships with you (With you) / And I think I’m runnin’ out of people to lose (To lose).” She does not hold back expressing her emotions.
PinkPantheress’s new album crafts a masterful sense of etherealness defined by nostalgic beats, yearnings to a return to youth, and deep reflection on her past, current, and future self. This album defines her in a way unlike any time before, revealing an unprecedented sense of authenticity that is remarkable from start to finish. If you have yet to listen to her new album, only “Heaven knows” why.
Christopher Nunez is a contributing writer for The Prospect from Point Pleasant, N.J. He can be reached at email@example.com.