Following a handful of remarkably accomplished digital releases, self-proclaimed "darkwave duchess" Abra made her vinyl debut during the summer of 2016 with the six-song Princess EP. As with previous efforts, Abra wrote and produced these songs and recorded them in her bedroom closet, and even though her shadowy, lo-fi R&B sound hasn't really changed much so far, somehow Princess still manages to feel like a huge step forward. This is partially due to the presence of the single "Crybaby," an ecstatic cut heavily influenced by '80s freestyle, which is far more urgent and complex than anything she's previously created. The skeletal beats and cerebral synth melodies of "Vegas" tip Abra's sound a bit closer to industrial-flavored synth pop, and the more sensual "Big Boi" features calm yet fierce rapping from kindred spirit Tommy Genesis. "Pull Up" shifts from singsong melodies to sharp fast-talking, and seems sweet on the surface but cuts deep. Throughout, Abra's inventive, ethereal backing vocals dance around her lead vocals, which are smooth yet commanding. Princess is utterly enthralling, and promises even bigger, better things from Abra.
AllMusic Review by Paul Simpson