by Talia M.
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LGBTQ+ indie pop artist awfultune (Layla Eden) started off posting covers to SoundCloud in 2017 and now upon the release of her fifth studio album eden, out today, April 29, via AWAL, she has over 400 million streams globally and her 2019 breakout single “I Met Sarah in the Bathroom” recently went gold in Canada and is just shy of certification in the U.S.

While rife with reverie and emotional complexity, an awfultune original prides itself on its minimalism. For Eden, the narrative is usually up front and center. The music was and continues to be inspired by, as she explains, “my own experience in the LGBTQ+ community as a trans woman/artist, and what that means not only to my fellow peers, but more importantly what it represents to me.”

“This entire record is about finding your self-worth and really mirrors my own life,” Eden explains. “I wanted to give listeners a genuine look into my heart and hopefully find a lot to relate to in the process. The album is a nonfiction story following a very insecure girl who is desperate for love and takes you through the highs and lows of her beautiful romances turned nasty breakups. This album holds nothing back; it talks about wanting revenge on those who hurt us, past trauma, sexual assault and more. eden as a whole really focuses on healing. Once we learn to repurpose the negative energy that we often hold internally and exchange it for light and love, only then can we move on. Creating this album has been so near and dear to my heart and I’ve put every ounce of myself in it for two years.”

Alongside the 10-track audio collection, Eden has unveiled an accompanying illustrated storybook for the album on Instagram; each song with a page and narrative to aid in telling the story.

eden was mixed by Tony Esterly, who also produced several tracks, mastered by John Greenham (Billie Eilish, girl in red, K.Flay) and features the latest single “sweet talk,” as well as previously teased out tracks “wild honey,” “sad love song,” and “soda.” The album artwork was shot by Shervin Lainez (Billie Eilish, Lizzo, Tame Impala).

Born and bred in upstate New York, Eden’s musical evolution is intrinsically entwined with their own adapting identity. From plaintive to sweetly serene, their chromatic catalog of dreamlike compositions has succinctly echoed their transition from male to female—becoming whom she’s always been. She is both an austere champion of the LGBTQ+ community and a perennial advocate for anyone who’s simply ever felt alone or estranged from themselves.

The full track listing for awfultune’s eden:

  1. sweet talk
  2. picking up
  3. shut up!!!
  4. sad love song
  5. soda
  6. my letter to you
  7. stupid
  8. claustrophobic
  9. wild honey
  10. the end

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