Utah's The Aces started their recording career as The Blues Aces, releasing a series of EPs dating back as far as 2012. However, their introduction to the global arena really arrived with their debut album, When My Heart Felt Volcanic, back in 2018. Following in the aftermath of two successful albums from HAIM, it was almost inevitable that the female quartet would be compared to the sibling group. And while there were certainly echoes of their sound, When My Heart Felt Volcanic showcased a group who also had their own identity.
Yet it was not just being overshadowed by comparisons to a more established act that hindered the album really hitting the peak that it deserved, the band themselves felt slightly restricted in showcasing their true selves within the record's contents. Not only wishing to be seen as more than a girl band, in fact just being celebrated as a band for all their merits, they also were not allowed to represent their sexuality within the record.
All that has changed as they release their sophomore record, Under My Influence. Gone are the HAIM references and brought to the fore is a determined rock-pop sound that is married with unafraid, unrestricted lyrics that are relate-able and relevant.
While the summer anthem 801 and bouncy ode to Los Angeles, which is named after the city, form the album's two strongest moments, there are also the less obvious anthems Kelly and funky Zillionaire that shine brightly.
Under My Influence feels like a growth from their debut, but doesn't deviate so far that they lose their established audience.