TRACE - Like Hell EP (Ultra Music)

Mastered by Mastering Engineer Saif Bari

LA-based songstress TRACE has announced her sophomore EP ‘LIKE HELL’, out 4th October via Ultra Music.

A six-track project, ‘LIKE HELL’ opens with lead single ‘All My Friends’, a wistful ballad TRACE previously explained was written after she decided she was going to “full-heartedly pursue” a career in music. This vibe continues throughout the EP, with ‘Missing Me’ tapping into the emotions that follow a difficult breakup, while single ‘Make Me Laugh’ continues in a similar vein. Closing things out, title track ‘Like Hell’ provides the EP’s most delicate moments – with sparse instrumentation allowing TRACE’s soft vocals to take centre stage.

Growing up in Orange County, California, the daughter of Carol Kim (known as ‘the Tina Turner of Vietnam’), TRACE never planned to follow her mother\’s footsteps and pursue a career in music. She picked up an acoustic guitar for the first time as a teenager, but didn\’t begin writing songs until her freshman year of college. TRACE found her voice in writing songs, and since then, music has become a personal calling that she hasn’t turned away from.

In 2016, TRACE brought her first EP ‘Low’ to life through a Kickstarter campaign. The four-track project earned her comparisons to the “west coast cool of Lana Del Rey” and the “R&B-kissed ruminations of James Blake,” as well as over 20 million streams and her first record deal.

In early 2018, TRACE made her Ultra Music debut with her single ‘Blood and Bones’, followed by the release of two more singles ‘Side Eye’ (which was featured on The Fader\’s fall list of ‘Best New Pop Songs’) and ‘Anxiety’ which premiered on Forbes. For the latter, TRACE partnered with the California chapter of non-profit organisation National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) to raise awareness on anxiety in the entertainment industry. The partnership included limited-edition merch being sold through TRACE’s site with proceeds benefiting NAMI.

One of the brightest lights to emerge from the west coast music scene in recent years, ‘LIKE HELL’ is a coming-of-age EP that will only enhance the hype that surrounds TRACE.
Though we already featured TRACE’s new EP Like Hell (P.S. read all about the influences behind it HERE), we thought it deserved another serving of love. Spanning six truly remarkable tracks, the release showcases her growth as a songwriter and artist. Over the course of the EP, the LA-based artist explores family, friendships, heartbreak and everything in-between.

The EP opens with the musing sounds of ‘All My Friends’. The track reflects on friendships, as well as the impact social media and life online might have on those relationships. It also captures feelings of loneliness and isolation with her words ‘where did all my friends go?’ leaving you with chills and a sea of thoughts. Next is ‘Missing Me’, which is a captivating slice of dark pop. Home to fierce words, TRACE comes through triumphant on the heartbreak anthem. ‘Crushing’ is a soaring number that talks about rejection and letting someone know that you’re not into them.

Towards the middle of the EP, we’re met by ‘When I Was Young’. The introspective track will give you goosebumps from the very moment that you press play. The EP moves into ‘Make Me Laugh’, which is another badass track that features sharp and scathing words. Like Hell concludes with the release’s title track, which proves to be a magical ending to an exquisite release by TRACE.

TRACE’s special sophomore EP takes listeners through the inner workings of her mind, as well as what it’s like to navigate relationships and the many forms that these relationships take.
— Written by Amy Smolcic (