Born and raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia, 22-year-old Kiera Dillon (she/her) rang in the new year with her debut pop album Perspective. This bedroom pop/indie-pop album explores themes of nostalgia and coming of age. The self-produced body of work reminds us to feel and represents universal acceptance in regard to all emotions. Dillion uses nostalgia as a mirror and promotes self-reflection as the key to self-discovery.
The album begins with an ode to a familiar “Lullaby.” Cradle songs and nursery rhymes are traditionally sung before sleep as a child fears revealing themself to the unknown and potential threat of nightmares. When change occurs, we cling to the past for control, certainty, and comfort. “You checked for the monsters under my bed. It’s not your fault no one told you to check inside my head.” Our biggest monsters are inside our minds. Our biggest enemy is often ourselves.
“Play the Victim” highlights self-inflicted criticism and emotional interrogation. “I’ve been walking on eggshells. Finally caught on after all this time. Should’ve been worrying about myself, ’cause what you scattered weren’t eggshells, they were all landmines. I can’t ever do enough.” It’s human nature to anticipate opportunities for self-sabotage, however, this ultimately extends our discomfort. This dialogue exists in conversations between our present selves and our inner child, and/or with loved ones. Comparing pain invalidates our experiences and feelings.
“This Can’t Be a Breakup” illustrates the side effects of resisting the process of healing deep pain, and is a lesson of patience. We break up with people, old versions of ourselves, and perspectives. Breaking these routines essentially forces us out of our comfort zones. “It’s hard to know what I’m fighting for when you’re on the other side of the war. This can’t be a breakup, but I don’t know how I’ll make up this time.” Rushing to the nearest remedy to escape, and attaching to past mistakes robs us of evolution.
Dillon revisits a less complicated time of being “Naive.” She searches for her earliest sources of bravery and finds that they are cohesive to some of her earliest memories. The task of an adult figure is to exemplify compassion for adolescent mistakes. While teaching, they remind themselves of their own values. “You’re sixteen now so you know it all. Never will admit when you’re at fault. And your mama says being nice isn’t a crime, but you wanna grow up so you roll your eyes, but she’s still there when you realize she’s right.” What her mother has sung to her, she must prepare to sing to herself.
“Man on the Moon” is a contract of self-forgiveness. Dillion gives herself permission to come home to herself. She fell in love with performing at the age of three and has wanted to produce an album since kindergarten. Her dreams are her “night-light,” and her love for music is her lullaby. She will forever be able to shine in times of darkness. “I’d go anywhere to get to you.”
“Not Yours” discusses priorities and boundaries. This anthem of self-love celebrates Dillon’s ownership over her life, decisions, and dreams. “You can no longer call me “mine” because I’m not yours to define.”
“False Reality” warns against getting lost in the illusion and perfect lie of perfection. “You’re dragging everyone down. Self medicate to keep your crown. If only castles burning down is where it ends. Come back to us the way it was before you went away … If not for you I beg you to make the fight for me. Don’t self destruct, just let go of the false reality.”
The album concludes with an “Outro” that echoes earlier melodies throughout the entire album. The end takes us back to the beginning. What we seek, we already obtain. What we inquire is often what we already know. We own the power and permission to shape-shift our perspectives.