Cheeky - The Star (Album Review)


Cheeky is the solo electronic project of classically trained pianist Kaylee Sabatino, and their latest album "The Star" takes the listener on a mysterious journey. 

Review by Namya Prabhakar

When you start listening to "The Star" by Cheeky, it’s almost as if you're transported to intergalactic space. There are static sounds, very dramatic foley effects, and an almost opera-like keyboard (which we’re assuming is a tribute to Cheeky’s roots). The first track, “Chamber of Secrets” is chaotic, with a big mix of synthetic sounds that set the tone for the album. From afar, it feels like you can see a full picture of what going on, but when you take a closer look, you’re lost. The songs aren’t arranged in a discernable order, and the only thread holding them together is the overall vibe; a combination of early 2000’s electronic beats and the feeling of deep nostalgia. By the time you make it to the end of "Computer", you realise that there’s so much that’s happened that Cheeky hasn’t spoken about and that can only come out through her music. "Nightwalk" paints a picture of a dark garden, perhaps resembling the artist’s mind; the place where nostalgia and euphoria bloom as she walks through it.

Overall, Cheeky makes a great attempt at replicating the atmosphere evoked by the feelings she represents through the refractions and reflections of early techno beats, but upon a closer look, it feels like there’s a deep dark pit and all that was ever lost lies in it.


1. Chamber of Secrets 02:24 

2. Computer 02:29

3. Euphoric Motion 03:15

4. Your Name 02:24

5. Nightwalk 02:38

6. First Arabesque 03:07

7. Midnight Prayer 02:10

8. Mirror 03:14

Album info:

The Star is the debut full-length album of electro artist Cheeky. Written and recorded in the basement of her childhood home, the project evokes nostalgia, euphoria, dampened with the forces of her influences- most notably, Bjork, Baths and Animal Collective. At first glance it's a fully formed picture, but a more detailed examination reveals an abundance of impish aural brushstrokes lurking beneath the surface. Refractions and reflections come and go in the Cheeky mirror, be they the chittering electronics of early 00's IDM, the tech-addled iciness of 2010's bass music, or the quasi-schmaltz of film soundtracks and other such pageantry. The result is deceptively complex; a harmonically charged, modernist enigma swaddled in pastel sarongs, eyes on the future with accessories from times gone by. 

released May 25, 2022

Written, recorded, performed and produced by Kaylee Sabatino, 2022. Further mixing & small additions by Michael Johnson.

Cheeky - The Star (Album Review)
Reviewed by Namya Prabhakar on 2022-06-11
Rating: 3