MUSIC REVIEW: Duo KTJ & CARLY Release Self-Reflective EP “Ego Death”

KTJ & CARLY are back with a new collection of work that explores the journey to self-discovery, transformation, and self-care. “Ego Death” showcases the duo’s strength with their insightful lyrics and catchy hooks. 

Each track is distinctively different but still flows effortlessly as one body of work. The storytelling of the EP can be described as different puzzle pieces creating a puzzle or chapters of a novel contributing to a story as a whole. Ego is explored in various ways throughout the EP, all contributing to the story that KTJ & CARLY wanted to tell. As songwriters, the pop-punk duo also showed they are true storytellers as well. From the lyrics to the instrumental, and more, every detail contributes to the message that the duo wants to share. KTJ & CARLY’s musical inspirations are JoJo, PVRIS, and ROZES. Considering the versatility of the duo’s sound, it makes a lot of sense for KTJ & CARLY to have a versatile line of inspiration as well.

Every song has its own unique layer to a very personal, yet relatable story:

“Soliloquy” tells the story of acceptance. The synthy beats, layered vocals, and comforting lyrics are very relaxing and soothing, similar to the feeling of letting go of anxiety.

“Daddy’s little lawyer” — the EP’s lead single — illustrates an all-too-familiar story of putting too much effort into a relationship where your significant is only ever selfish.  punk-rock vibes, electric guitar strums, and emotive, powerful vocals. 

“Pink Ferrari” centers on the struggle of the ups and downs that come with mental illness. Slowly building guitar-driven instrumentals, airy but powerful vocals, and lyrics exploring the spiraling thoughts one might get. 

Inspired by the Nicholas Cage movie Family Man, “Heartless” tells the classic tale of greed. “Once you look down at your life, you’ll see that all the time you spent making money didn’t get you any loving,” the song warns. 

The EP signs off with the track “Signing off”, a testament to learning how to stop in a society that does not seem to slow down, and is “always on.”. Channeling both the pop-punk and synthy beats heard throughout the ep, “Signing off” managed to incorporate both styles, making a great closing to this story.

While on their own each song is good on its own, being put together to paint a bigger picture creates a masterpiece. Discovering different aspects of the ego, personal or external, is shown in every little detail from the lyrics to the tempo, to the instrumental. Shedding light on topics such as self-acceptance, mental illness, anxiety, and greed, which many listeners will relate to at least one of these, makes this EP even stronger. “Ego Death,” tells a story with a powerful message for its listeners, and shows the true artistry that KTJ & CARLY have.

Stream the EP now: Spotify, Apple Music

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