Nashville, Tennessee-based rock artist Anastasia Elliot released her debut album ‘La Petite Mort’ on August 25th, 2023. She announced the long-awaited release date of her debut album on August 18th, 2023, on her social media platforms. Anastasia released the first single on the album, “Cigarettes & Gasoline,” a few years prior on October 18th, 2023. The single gained 32,108 plays on Spotify, and the music video has collected a staggering 663,360 views on YouTube. The last single she released in anticipation of her debut album was “Lions Den” on July 28th, 2023. She announced the release of the single on her social media platforms on July 7th, 2023.
‘La Petite Mort’ is an elegant, gracefully swift-sounding album mixed with the contrast of hearty, bold vocals and vigorous, somberly atmospheric instrumentals. It seamlessly traverses through a well-balanced mixture of light, resplendently majestic toned songs and elements and heavy-hitting, emotionally charged, dynamic songs and elements. Throughout the album, you take a well-paced emotional journey of highs and lows in the form of songs filled with dedication, passion, and raw, unfiltered emotion.
The album starts out with the song “Cigarettes & Gasoline.” The song aptly introduces the listener to the overall tone of the album with a rich, sweetly morose sound. It builds upon itself by continuously introducing subtle elements and instruments as well as having an even dispersion of high-tension moments and laid-back, calming moments of serenity. The song starts out with just the soft plucking of guitar strings and Anastasia’s dreamy, intimate vocals with layering of fruitfully deep-sounding vocal harmonies throughout the first verse. The first chorus introduces intermittent dings of cymbals and thoughtful thumps of drums in conjunction with Anastasia’s potent, immersing, grandiose vocals. As it transitions to the end, the song climaxes in the final chorus. The final chorus fully encompasses you with a combination of steadily pounding drum patterns and a lively guitar riff. Anastasia is very direct with her lyrics in the song. The topic of the song can be summed up in just the chorus lyrics,
“You and me, we’re cigarettes and gasoline / We played with fire and scorched what we could have been / Oh, you and me, we’re the last bullet in the magazine / I’ll pull you close to me, close enough to smell the cigarettes and gasoline.”
Lyrically, the song expresses the scenario we sometimes find ourselves in. When we unwillingly fall in love with someone that we know will lead to the relationship only ending in tragedy and heartbreak. However, you can’t help but continue going back. Throughout the song, it consistently carries an overall profound, melodramatically somber sound instrumentally. Matched with Anastasia’s feathery light yet fiercely passionate vocals that hauntingly caress you, make the opening track a perfect display of a majority of the elements in the album to come. The song gingerly yet meticulously prepares the listener for the upcoming sound of the remainder of the album.
As the album progresses through the first half of the songs, the overall energy of the album definitely picks up. Especially with the songs “London” and “Masquerade.”
“London” follows a similar buildup as “Cigarettes & Gasoline,” but it differs by quickly throwing you into a forcefully vigorous crescendo in the first chorus and then reels itself in as it introduces a grander atmospheric second verse before going into a richer crescendo for the second chorus. The song starts off with the sound of keys and guitar melodies that can best be described as sounding like an instrumental intro in a film score used during an old masked royal ballroom dance scene for the first half of the first verse. The second half of the verse introduces the periodic jingle of a tambourine leading into the pre-chorus. The pre-chorus teases what’s to come in the chorus by introducing the noticeably prominent solid sound of bass, the sound of finger snaps, and more profound, electronically altered vocal harmonies that follow Anastasia’s vocals as she sings the tail end of the lyrics at the end of the first verse and pre-chorus, “I’ve never been to London / Why is my mind hazy? / What if I’m just crazy?” The song then quickly accelerates into the hard-hitting, catchy chorus. As the instrumental speeds up, it also introduces a dominantly pounding live drum beat with a tense and rapid three-hit beat at the end of the first half of the chorus. During the chorus, Anastasia’s vocals turn from her soul-touching, musical falsetto into her sauce, bombastically commanding vocals as she sings the first half of the chorus, “What if I’ve known you in some other life? / What if I told you in some other life?” While the second half of the chorus and second verse does return to a milder instrumental, the second verse builds itself with the addition of the periodic thumping of drums and fully reintroducing the bass in the pre-chorus, which differs from the first with Anastasia’s vocals returning to the powerful style of vocals used at the beginning of the first chorus with an added hint of desperation, as she asks the questions in the lyrics, “Why is your mind hazy? / Do you think I’m going crazy?” After the second chorus, the song returns to the masquerade-like sounding instrumental as Anastasia lightly and painfully sings the first half of the pre-chorus, “Why is your mind hazy?” before a commandingly quick buildup of drums joins the fray to support her final exasperating declaration of the lyrics, “I’m not going crazy!” Before going into a final chorus to finish the song.
The song that follows “London” is “Masquerade.” It’s songs like “Masquerade” in the first half of the album that Anastasia quickly reminds you that, despite what you might have thought about the softer, more laid-back beginning of the album, ‘La Petite Mort’ is nothing short of a hard-hitting bold rock album. Although the song structure doesn’t change much from the previous songs, “Masquerade” introduces an infectiously spunky touch to the album. With a chorus, you won’t be able to resist singing along with. A quaking instrumental that’ll get you out of your seat in a matter of seconds. Anastasia’s vibrant vocals, in which she blends her bright, vivid, jutting vocals with her glassy higher register during the chorus, make “Masquerade” a song you won’t soon forget on the album.
After swiftly leaving the first half of the album with “Crest Le Vie,” the album goes into the title track, “La Petite Mort,” which serves as a morbid-sounding warped interlude. It acts almost as a brief intermission between the two halves of the album. As a whole, the interlude is a taste of what’s to come at the tail end of the album.
The album ends off with a serenely sincere tone with the songs “If And When” and “GOOD” wrapping up the emotional journey that is ‘La Petite Mort.’ “If And When” starts with faint, calming vocal harmonization and a few guitar notes before heading into verse. The verse adds in a supple yet low and somewhat dramatic at times piano, a more present sweet acoustic guitar, the sound of supportive rumbling bass, and Anastasia’s suave illuminating vocals. In addition to the buildup that occurs in the chorus, like in most of her songs, Anastasia introduces silky, passionate, opera-like vocals to fill out the lusciously grand-sounding chorus. After the final gigantic chorus, the song trails off into what can only be described as a menacing, grimy, garbled outro, similar to “La Petite Mort,” filled with twisted, mangled guitar tones and Anastasia’s voice in an intimate yet ominous tone repeating the words, “I’m so happy you’re here.”
Ending the album is the song “GOOD.” The song starts with about seventeen seconds of meticulously placed silence, which allows you to have a moment to sit and process the entirety of the album before going into the bittersweet send-off that is “GOOD.” However, you won’t notice the end of the beginning of silence until around the twenty-four-second mark unless you’re paying one hundred percent attention and wearing really good headphones. The song resorts to the utmost simplicity with the peaceful strumming of acoustic guitar and laid-back, uplifting piano. As the song progresses, it introduces consistent, unwavering drum beats and the quiet yet noticeable sound of a bass. Anastasia vocally drives the song with her sky-high crystalline opera and high register at the end of the song. Leaving you with a provocatively shattering high note at the end to signify the end of ‘La Petite Mort.’
‘La Petite Mort’ is an emotional, gently-paced roller-coaster filled with ups and downs, love, heartbreak, and sheer determination. Anastasia’s style of song structures creates an auditory, musical storybook that unfolds over the fifty-two-minute and thirty-two-second duration of the album. Anastasia Elliot’s album ‘La Petite Mort’ isn’t just an album. It’s an experience that you won’t soon forget.
You can keep up with Anastasia Elliot by following her social media below!