Lili Blessing

Lifeline (Sleeveless)

Texas Platters

Austin native Lili Blessing's billowy vocals and soft melodies imbue a poignant vulnerability that only a 20-year-old could deliver on a debut full-length such as Lifeline. Seemingly untethered by the madness that encompasses the 21st century, Sara Hickman's singer-songwriter daughter welcomes us into her world with 11 songs showcasing the qualms that come with her existence as a young woman in a culture that keeps asking for validation. There's a touch of UK siren Laura Marling here, except softer, with doe-eyed optimism. "I wanna be the happiness that lets your arms open wide," she whispers faintly on "Gravity." This balances with harsher entries like "Sticks and Stones," which details an abusive relationship ("he makes me hurt, he makes me cry"). The transitions are faint but not obvious, approachable. That ease, a pleasantness, weaves itself throughout Lifeline, an entire album of newfound friendship.

***.5

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