The first thing that strikes you is the groove. It bubbles and pulses with a kind of Caribbean flair that seems out of sorts with the murky, minimalist production that many of her Awful Records peers have adopted. Like much of her best work, “Sick Girl” is rooted in an ambient R&B sound that occasionally sidesteps into experimental pop. It’s immensely catchy, but never cloying or saccharine in the way so much mainstream music has devolved.
For an artist that has dubbed herself the Darkwave Duchess, ABRA seems to prefer painting in simple lines with splashes of vibrant color. Her music is sparse, introspective and ethereal, but rarely does it feel overtly sad. “Sick Girl” is meditative — almost confessional — and it’s infused with a sultry atmosphere that draws you into the center of her emotional vortex. Her vocals, doused in obfuscating effects, are like so many shadowy hands reaching out to you from behind foggy curtain; the song’s languid pace and late-night aesthetic seek your surrender. If the Awful crew is capable of supporting a breakout star, ABRA may just be it. Listen below.