Each week we take a look at some of the hottest new music releases, and shed some light on a new discovery, too
Single of the Week: “Lonely Machines” by 3OH!3 ft. 100 Gecs – 4/5
It’s 2008, and you’re singing (yelling) the lyrics “tell your boyfriend, if he says he’s got beef, that I’m a vegetarian and I ain’t fucking scared of him” in the schoolyard with your friends. Your mom finally let you dye a streak of purple in your hair. Life is good.
It has been a whopping twelve years since 3OH!3 released their iconic hit “Don’t Trust Me.” This past week, 3OH!3 made a long overdue comeback featuring 100 Gecs in “Lonely Machines,” in what one YouTube commentator (LK Blondie) referred to as “the most shocking crossover and the least shocking crossover at the same time.” The comment holds true; these artists’ electronic styles pair well together, but 3OH!3’s pop overtones counter the post-pop, underground vibes of 100 Gecs.
The electronic-pop song presents us with comments about dating in the contemporary world with references to texting and direct messaging. The repeated line “lonely machines, they won’t touch you for free” is particularly loaded, alluding to the commercialisation of intimacy, while simultaneously suggesting an overlap in humanity and technology. Who (or what) lonely machines are remains open to interpretation; the term’s ambiguity is the driving force of the song.
Highlighted Album: Ana Roxanne: Because of a Flower – 5/5
Ana Roxanne opens her album with a 50-second-long intro of overlapping voices, creating a surreal hypnotic environment for the songs that follow. The spoken-word piece successfully launches the album onto a path of discovery and reinterpretation of self and otherness, placing listeners in a reflective state of mind.
The album is thoughtfully curated. It truly feels as though each song is meant to follow the one before; listening to them in any other order would be wrong. Combining voice, instrumentation, and electronic music, Roxanne creates a set of seven songs that present themselves as an exploration of time and space, entering and fiddling with the realms of our perceptions.
The songs use minimal lyrics and offer a sound that is comparable to the ambiance music played in spas or massage parlors. The mellow, dreamlike tracks pull listeners away from reality and into a trance-like state guided by emotionality and feeling. Because of a Flower pushes us to move past linguistic, definable worlds and explore the sensations for which we have no words or sentences to define.
The success of the album comes especially from its attention to detail. Every sound on the album has a place, eliciting a visceral response.
Discovery of the Week: Clio
In a dire attempt to find more artists with Charlotte Cardin vibes, I began looking for female artists singing in French and came across Clio. Her most popular song on Spotify, “T’as Vu,” details coming home after aimlessly walking around the neighborhood post-argument with a (presumed) lover. The emotional thematic orientation of the song is juxtaposed over electronic sounds that might inspire dancing in the kitchen solo at 1 a.m.
In her music, Clio offers strong lyrical abilities combined with captivating electronic tunes, often touching on universal narratives which evoke subjective responses, such as in the song “Tristan,” where she compares feelings towards previous lovers (Luc and Louis) to her current one.
Occasionally, as in “Éric Rohmer est mort,” Clio ditches the electronic sounds, choosing instead the soothing sounds of a guitar reminiscent of Georges Brassens’ music. In this song, her descriptions of everyday scenes of lovers holding hands in the park, friends meetings in cafes, girls crying, and people reading in the metro once again present these universal narratives that everyone experiences slightly differently.
Her work, even if you don’t understand the French lyrics, offers a cheerful — yet reflective — aura in which it is easy (and even enjoyable) to get lost.