Anja Kotar’s delicate and haunting vocals on Poster Child of California perfectly caresses every note of the song while infusing an impressive amount of emotive expression into every beat. The soft, hypnotic vocals pairs well with distinctive lyrics such as, “Hey, let’s run away kid. With scrunchies in her recently bleached out hair. She’s everybody’s best friend,” that fills listeners with a feeling of empowerment as Kotar sings about her pride of being a real, but albeit unconventional California girl.
Listeners are sure to feel nostalgia as the synthetic instrumental arrangement and heavy use of reverb causes a flash to the prime time of 80s’ pop music. The tune incorporates different characteristics of various genres from R&B and electronica to dance and traditional pop creating a track that is both memorable and unique while still grasping enough of a flashback feel to create a sense of reminiscence for older listeners.
Although lyrically and vocally strong Poster Child of California still has some deficits that could easily be improved. The rhythm is engaging, but at times becomes repetitive almost as if its harassing listener’s ears. If the rhythm varied throughout the track in a way that harmoniously glides from one segment to another this problem would be fixed. Additionally, The melody loses its shape during certain sections of the track causing the tune to flatline at times. Don’t get me wrong the melody is definitely catchy and it is eventually revived after a period of time, but the flatlined segments are too long and makes listener’s ‘skip button’ instinct go in to overdrive.
Another problem with this track is its struggle with the instrumental variety overpowering the vocalists at different segments causing the piece to be unbalanced. This lopsided characteristic makes it a battle for listeners to really be able to hear the lyrics of the tune. The drums in particular overcome the vocals to an extreme level drowning out the lyrics of the track causing a real strain for listeners.
Kotar displays an impressive amount of talent on this track which showcases her star qualities. She proves that she is both vocally and lyrically strong on this piece and with the right amount of balancing the track could most definitely rise up to be a top hit.
Bio: Beginning her career as a classically trained pianist at age seven, she has played in a piano trio (with violin and cello) and competed at many classical piano competitions. She was awarded the Outstanding Musicianship Award several times as a soloist with her conservatory’s jazz band and with the vocal jazz ensemble. The success in her career at a young age, led to her competing on X-Factor Slovenia but having to drop out after a successful live audition due to her young age. This was a turning point for Kotar, where she took her talents to California and began to focus on writing her own music. Receiving scholarships as a solo singer and still being in high school taking Berklee College of Music online courses, she earned a Voice Certificate from the school before graduating in 2015. Kotar then went on to receive her Bachelor’s Degree from Berklee College of Music, where she was continually on the Dean’s List of Students and graduated nearly two years early Cum Laude. Along with that, she also took voice lessons from one of Los Angeles’ most prominent vocal coaches, Micah Plissner.