pj sparkles tackles the gilded virtues of fame in her new track “Big Star” from her upcoming debut album Neon.

“Big Star” is the haunting new track from Megan Liscomb of Soft Lions, a piece that deepens her depictions of resolute characters facing immutable traumas. Donning the appropriately nostalgic moniker pj sparkles, she sheds excess instrumentation, preferring to let her voice and lyricism take the lead. This has always been her approach, but with “Big Star” Liscomb sounds more confident and capable in her abilities than ever, and deservedly so.

Liscomb’s lyrics have always portrayed a poignant vulnerability, that for all the weight of depicted loss, she has managed to remain resolute. The speakers of her songs, no matter how much pain they seem to endure, remain a fixture of the lives they’re surprised to have persisted in for so long. These are the thematic threads that tie her work together and it’s compelling to listen and hear her articulate these thematic elements in understated but deeply affecting ways.

“When you’re big, they let you do anything,” she painfully croons, the subtext being especially relevant. Liscomb’s talent has always been in her ability to juxtapose how social commentary and personal narrative commiserate each other. The pageant imagery in the accompanying lyric video for “Big Star” only drives this point further home. pj sparkles illustrates an immense talent for crafting songs, one that only seems to grow with her continued writing.

Neon by pj sparkles debuts on November 3 on cassette and digitally; her work can be found on FacebookSoundcloud, and Bandcamp. See her play this weekend at 1/2 FEST: A Benefit Show for LGBTQ Youth Services at Helmuth Projects.

By Brian R. Strauss (Foxx Press)