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Donna Missal’s “Revel”: Reflection and Resolve

“Revel” is a project born from turmoil and uncertainty, ultimately wielding chaos as its driving force to openly face the nerve-wracking realization of “what next?”. In her latest album, Donna Missal asks and answers all sorts of uncomfortable questions about ego, isolation, and purpose. Across club-worthy dance tracks and trip-hop inspired beats, Missal confronts and finds her sense of self.

Forged In Chaos

2022 was an incredibly disorientating and strenuous year for Missal – she couch-surfed and lived out of her car, trying to make ends meet after being dropped by Harvest Records. In the midst of this uncertain period Missal’s creativity was stifled, but producing music still offered much-needed escape. Nevertheless, real-life still managed to worm its way into what was supposed to be a liberating refuge. Missal accepts these elements instead of running, adapting her struggles into her lyrics and sound – she openly sings about her desire for escape, confronting it unapologetically. From this rumination, Missal addresses the fear of not truly knowing oneself or the unease that comes with self-reflection itself, persevering through it all to find both herself and inner peace.

But I found peacе in me
When life kicks in and I’m crumblin’

– “Wild”, Donna Missal

A Journey of Self-Discovery

Despite the uncertainty and difficulty behind the scenes of Missal’s junior album, the end product is impressively cohesive while still managing to explore different sounds and tap into various genres. If anything, that deeply personal, undeniably grueling process is exactly what gives “Revel” its character and sonic profile.

“Revel” opens with “Flicker,” which merges ‘80s synthwave with dance pop, all the while establishing the album’s focus on Missal’s struggles with feeling isolated and her desire to run.

“Heaven Here” and “Tomorrow” take a page from Portishead and Massive Attack. By slowing down the pace slightly and taking on a more brooding tone, giving some breathing room before the heavy-hitting “Wild” and “Out of Me.” Missal’s mixture of organic and electronic instrumentation gives impressive texture to all of her songs. This also makes track nine especially interesting. While most of the songs on “Revel” mix club beats and electronic vocals with instruments like violin or piano, “Paranoia” revolves entirely around the acoustic guitar. The last track, “I Saw God,” ends the album on an upbeat, hopeful note which ultimately closes out Missal’s journey through an incredibly difficult period of self-discovery and self-acceptance.

Despite it all, “Revel” stays upbeat, and uses its lyrics as a moving force to dance along to instead of weighing down the album. By combining introspective lines with punchy tracks, Missal fully owns and embraces her history as a force for change. Ultimately, Donna Missal’s first independent album strikingly explores the process of finding who we are and who we want to be amid chaos – or rather, precisely how chaos helps us discover ourselves.

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