Liska Embraces Hyper-Femininity and Positive Affirmations in “It Girl” EP
By: Kimberly Kapela
An “it girl” is an empowered woman who is not ashamed of her emotions or her femininity and expresses her style without the fear of being judged, as defined by indie-pop songstress Liska. The concept of the “it” girl is ever-evolving and transcends the boundaries of space, time, and social class as every decade throughout history has its sought-after muses. Having “it” girl energy also translates into spiritual concepts for Liska that she channels the attitude in and out of the studio through her intense meditations and affirmation practices.
Annelise Steele, a Chicago-based songwriter and singer, is inspired by the influences of pop stars from decades past to craft her tour-de-force artist persona known as Liska. Her resolute confidence serves to magnify and electrify her music, enhancing the allure of her addictive verses and honey-dipped choruses.
Through her love of spirituality, Liska became aligned with concepts of celebrating her femininity that she hints at throughout the It Girl EP. Liska’s newly released It Girl project boasts a refreshing, ethereal pop sound, thoughtfully crafted to resonate strongly with women.
Embracing hyper-femininity in an exceedingly male-dominated society is often perceived as a bold and risky choice. The feminine energy is characterized by its capacity to embrace inner intuition and empower others, encouraging emotional exploration and the freedom to feel, reveal, and heal. Liska’s own intuition has led her to interlace her previous cosmic-pop influences from her Jupiter (2021) and Le Boom (2022) EPs with a more intuitive, 90s indie-rock approach in It Girl.
“It Girl explores both my pop and rock sides,” Liska says. “I think it embodies all aspects of my music in a way that my previous projects haven’t, so I let myself go, full-blown rocker, shoegaze on ‘Infinity’ and immersing myself in dream-pop elements in other tracks.”
Starting the project off strong with “Infinity,” Liska unleashes her inner pop diva as she blends synth soundscapes and entrancing melodies. Accompanied by a heavy shoegaze influence, it’s clear that the songstress is inspired by the likes of Slowdive’s Souvlaki album. This connection to a celebrated shoegaze release showcases her ability to incorporate atmospheric elements into her own distinct musical style. As Liska sings “Your eyes are infinity,” the harmonies have the power to transport listeners to another realm, creating an immersive experience. The fusion of lush synth arrangements adds to the song’s appeal and showcases Liska’s talent for creating music that can evoke a sense of escapism and wonder.
“Grapefruit” sees Liska romanticizing a sweet and playful fantasy between her and her lover as she sings, “If I told you I care / If I told you I need you / Could you please pretend / If I told you I care / Am I dreaming it’s only you and me.” “Grapefruit” offers a dreamy and whimsical narrative that celebrates the joyful and carefree aspects of relationships. After the romantic build-up dissipates, Liska realizes that she deserves to find someone better and yearns for her heart to heal.
“Aura” stands out as the most surprising listen from the entire project, thanks to its hidden Chicago House influences through its rich pulsating beats and liberating spirit. The fusion of club culture has Liska hooked on the feeling of self-expression and pure energy – a true gift for all her listeners. Liska’s commitment to her playful and flirtatious attitude is heard in lyrics such as “You know I fuck with your new tattoos” and “Show me the dangerous side of you.” Maybe in the past Liska couldn’t see true love clearly, but this time around, her lover has her heart when she’s in their aura.
Adding to the playful atmosphere, “Boy” serves as Liska’s revelation to her lover that she’s sure of their destined, fiery commitment to the relationship in the lyrics, “I could be your soulmate / I got to be your friend / I could be your true love / Flame that never ends / I just wanna be your girl.” The presence of an electrifying guitar in “Boy” adds an extra layer of artistic prowess and depth to her work.
Being an it girl means embodying your true, authentic energy without seeking anyone’s validation. The EP’s self-titled track “It Girl” is the perfect closer to the project that acts as a sweet ode to every woman who embraces their “it” girl energy. “It Girl” celebrates self-confidence and individuality, making it a meaningful and inspirational conclusion for the EP.
Liska accepts that girls will “hate her guts” and call her a bitch for being comfortable in her own skin. The chorus, “It’s all a mindset, that’s how I like it / My POV takes center stage / Face like an “it” girl / Call me as if girl / Like OMG get out of my way,” serves as a clear indication that Liska’s been saying her affirmations. “It’s all a mindset” reflects her positive mindset and self-love practices are key to her confident persona.
“I’ve learned to do my best to not fucking worry – even the hardest situations – and trust yourself, your artistic vision, and your dreams,” Liska says. “I hope listeners come away from It Girl feeling confident. I want it to feel magical and comforting.”
Made by an “it” girl as a gift for it girls everywhere, Liska’s unapologetically hyper-feminine approach is indeed captivating. Her music resonates with individuals who appreciate and embrace a feminine aesthetic and attitude. By crafting music that celebrates and embodies this style, Liska creates a space for self-expression and empowerment within her fan base. It Girl can be seen as a celebration of femininity and a source of inspiration for those who identify with the “it” girl culture and ethos.
Check out more great interviews here!