For someone who sings about making "rookie mistakes" in their life, Sarah Tudzin sounds like anything but one, at least on record. An L.A. based engineer and producer whose credits include everything from working with Slowdive and Porches to doing some sound design on the Hamilton soundtrack, she originally conceived Illuminati Hotties as a way of showing potential clients her work, with no intention of becoming an actual artist.

But things have a funny way of working out, and, getting bitten by "the artist bug" in the process, it turned into a serious full-time solo project with the help of various friends. Two years later with the release of her proper debut, Kiss Yr Frenemies, she proves herself to be a naturally gifted artist. More than just a collection of really good songs, it's a cohesive statement full of playful curiosity teeming with the kind of confidence she otherwise struggles with as she navigates her way through young adulthood.

Regardless if she's expressing minor frustration over a recent ex who is flourishing as she's fumbling on '(You're Better) Than Ever,' singing about a fling that quickly fizzled out on 'Shape Of My Hands,' or cracking jokes about crumbling under the pressures of financial and emotional debt on 'Paying Off The Happiness,' she colors these experiences with plenty of deprecating humor, sarcasm, and tenderness that makes them relatable and humorous. (It's worth pointing out that 'Pressed 2 Death' kicks off with a fart noise.)

Even when she lowers her guard she finds a way of mining beauty from heartache. This is especially true of 'Declutter' which is easily the most devastating song here. A hushed ballad consisting of nothing else than Tudzin accompanying herself with simple mournful piano, it exudes the same kind of stillness you experience from watching the snow falling on a quiet winter night. But when she utters the words "I don't love you anymore" toward the beginning, it's such an open and bruising confession that it catches you off guard.

Despite repeating the refrain "I don't care anymore," you can almost make out traces of sadness and regret lingering in her voice. A sweet voice message tacked onto the end that's likely from the now ex in question makes the whole thing that much more heartbreaking. Still, it's a completely beautiful piece of music and the earnestness and honesty she approaches it with reminds me a lot of The Replacements' "Answering Machine,' arguably the first truly sincere song Paul Westerberg wrote that displayed the same kind of startling honesty.

Self-described "tenderpunks," Illuminati Hotties cherry pick from a variety of influences from 90s indie, garage and punk, to lo-fi and straight up pop, but Kiss Yr Frenemies never once sounds like a cluttered mess. And given her experience behind the boards, it comes as no surprise that the production is meticulous and clean, but the glossy exterior does nothing to diminish the the muscle, jagged edges, and little details that makes the music such a joy to be swept into. On 'Patience' for example, a steady build gives way to fuzz drenched guitars that collide with Tudzin's sweet vocals to dizzying effect.

The exhilarating rush of guitars propelling the chorus on 'Shape Of My Hands' makes for one of those perfect little pop moments, and then there's the shimmering 'For Cheez (My Friend, Not The Food)' that spends most of its 4-minutes quietly drifting along until the last minute or so when it suddenly descends into a chaotic barrage of explosive marching drums and bright bursts of horns. Even the little 'lo-fi' flourishes on ballads like 'Rules' and especially 'Declutter,' where you can literally hear the seat she's sitting on creaking, are deliberate and well-placed but never feel forced.

It's an impressive effort to say the least, especially coming from someone who is taking on the role of new artist. Kiss Yr Frenemies is ridiculously catchy and full of candid, funny and witty observations, and it's proof of the remarkable talent she possesses. Even more impressive is that this is only her debut, which means she still has plenty possibilities to explore and potential to tap into, and the prospect of where she goes from here is nearly as exciting as the album itself.