Photo: Morgan Peyton.

VIAA has put in her time in the music industry, doing backup singing gigs for the likes of Willow Smith and Anderson.Paak; as such, her first effort to emerge from upstage is polished, solid, confident and full. ā€œLieā€ shows that VIAA (born Mia Coleman) has a strong notion of melody, but also knows that minimalismā€”that roomy chorusā€”can have maximal impact.

Weā€™re debuting that track here as the next look at VIAAā€™s forthcoming EP, Shooting in the Dark, which I can verify is as breezy and into-a-groove as its singles. On ā€œLie,ā€ she presents some of the scenarios women tell ourselves to justify staying with shitty dudes, something Iā€™m sure plenty of us can relate to at one point or another. The hook is both eminently singable and a courage-inducing mantra for anyone who really just needs to dump his ass. Thereā€™s nuance and empathy in it too, though; VIAAā€™s voice is cake-sweet and leaves space for the truth that itā€™s not as easy as it sounds. And thatā€™s cause she knows exactly how it feels. In a press release, she writes:

I wrote ā€˜Lieā€™ in the midst of a tumultuous time in my last relationship. Both of our insecurities were flaring and one of my partnerā€™s insecurities was that I was being unfaithful to him even though I wasnā€™t. I decided to write a song as if I was being unfaithful, almost to spite him because that was my only outlet at the timeā€”inspiration does comes from crazy places. Thatā€™s what the song initially was for me, but now itā€™s transitioned into a bigger message for me and others. A message more along the lines that we have all of these stereotypes and ā€˜liesā€™ placed on us, specifically as women. And, it was a reminder to ask yourself are you allowing those lies to run your life, are you allowing people to define you, are you living a lie you donā€™t even know youā€™re living because youā€™re so conditioned to it? Thatā€™s why Iā€™ve been asking women what ā€˜LIESā€™ they think society puts on women and also what ā€˜TRUTHSā€™ can they speak in opposition to that, so other women can find some insight or inspiration to start living their truth freely.

YES, MAā€™AM. Listen to ā€œLiesā€ below and ā€œHurt So Goodā€ here. Shooting in the Dark is out this Fall on STEM Distribution.