2016’s Paper Dolls showcased a dancefloor-friendly, dark pop style that was the defining release of Jennifer Parkin’s career up to that point. Well, both Ayria and the world have changed quite a bit since then – enter 2022’s This Is My Battle Cry, a bold statement in lyrics, production, and emotion that shows an even broader range of what Ayria is capable of.
The record starts immediately with a shift in sound as the titular track carries a noisy beat reminiscent of Angelspit and a bold proclamation that “This is my battle cry.” It sets the tone for the remainder of the record as every track sounds unique from the others. There is the ‘80s pop infused “Stranger Danger,” the neo Gary Numan-esque “We Can’t Love Here Anymore,” the angry dancefloor banger “No One Asked You.” These unique production choices not only differentiate this release, but at times, it even feels like each track was produced with a different approach; and yet, Ayria’s lyrics and vocal stylings are the cord that ties it all together. For an artist who always seems to have an ear to the ground for pop stylings, This Is My Battle Cry takes a few more risks than before, but never completely abandons the aesthetic that put Ayria on the map. In fact, the record wraps up poetically with a dark pop track, appropriately named “End of Life,” that could easily blend right into a modern Lady Gaga release on a contemporary dancefloor, yet is unmistakably Ayria.
For a project that has laid dormant for over six years, Ayria could have rehashed her sound from previous releases and satisfied dancefloors and longtime fans. Instead, Parkin clearly felt that she had more to say and wanted to say it in a different way, which sums up This Is My Battle Cry – her message required a different yet familiar voice, and this record delivers just that.