The world of pop music is changing. There are fractures coming into view. Some choose the light, others choose the dark, and then there are some that choose the weird. There aren’t any limits anymore, one can make a pop record and never leave their bedroom (prior to the pandemic) while they ascend to stardom.
DIY trends that you see more and more in the pop scene is a welcoming change. The glamour and shine of a high priced, highly produced video still goes a long way, but now there is space for others to operate. Was it the ascension of Billie Eillish? Maybe. Maybe it was The Weeknd and his original Trilogy of mixtapes that placed him at the forefront of pop (more likely). Whatever the reason, there’s room to breath for artists today. They aren’t bound by the limits of trends and conformity. All some witty yutes need is a laptop, a microphone and the ability to craft a creative thought. You still need the talent to make things work as an artist, in fact, the talent threshold is greater today for an artist trying to make it to the surface and have any sort of career, before receding back into the darkness of obscurity.
The way David Bowie or Kanye West changed like chameleon’s is no longer a magical thing to witness in the life of the artist, that’s simply the world the artist was raised in. Kids today aren’t bound to one genre of music, they aren’t expected by their fans (other kids) to remain in the lane they started out in. The lane most of them reside in doesn’t consist of one style of music anyways, it’s all music (see Lil Nas X 7 Ep).
Hip hop did this. If you want a genre to blame, blame hip hop. It’s the first music made from taking other types of music, chopping up the sample, rearranging those samples, then mixing them with other samples from different music to make the foundation that hip hop music has traditionally been created upon. As a result you have a bunch of kids who might not know who the hell Aerosmith is, but they remember the Eminem single Sing For The Moment (I hate that I referenced an Eminem track), and they don’t know about no fucking Annie musical, but that Jay Z joint Hard Knock Life was their older brothers favorite song to play as a kid (there, that’s better).
But enough about Hip hop and it’s vast influence on every facet of your life (pandemic or not), this is supposed to be about pop artists and some new shit that I heard about.
Honestly, I didn’t know what I was gonna write about today, I couldn’t find the band, or rapper, or whatever the fuck problem is happening in the world at the moment, so I randomly hit up this girl on Instagram who seemed pretty cool from her page (and very attractive) and randomly asked her about any new music she’s digging, she gave me two names. Both I gotta say…pretty interesting.
First random artist from a random girl on Instagram: Tate McRae
Woooooo we got a spirited one over here! Tate McRae has the most very smooth 90’s style going both in her music and in her delivery. Her recent single you broke me first came out April 17th and she dropped a lyric video to go with it that she filmed with her phone resting on the back of a car as she walked behind. Her staccato style of singing that she whips out for this new joint is perfect with the lyrics in the sky during the video. The idea of her singing about an ex calling her after months, when he broke her heart and about how she’s just totally not with the shit anymore? Pretty dope for a concept. Tate McRae drops some serious bars during the song too:
“Took a while, was in denial when I first heard
That you moved on quicker than I could’ve ever, you know that hurt
Swear for a while I would stare at my phone just to see your name
But now that it’s there, I don’t really know what to say”
The reality of the video for you broke me first is that you don’t get to see McRae dance like she does in most videos. As a professional dancer it really stands out in her other work, but it’s nice to see her just stripped down production wise (like I was saying earlier) in a windbreaker going off about an ex. Check out the video for that way off her recent Ep all the things i never said for the dancing that I mention above.
Second random artist from a random girl on Instagram: Joji
Now we come to this kid Joji and his recent single Gimme Love. It’s a great upbeat pop track and Joji has a voice and cadence that reminds me of James Blake. The video however is showing off the wisdom of this young artist. It seems to me from the video, well I’m not entirely sure what it’s seems to me, but it’s a series of quick cuts that start pretty mundane, office setting type clips, that progress into more and more chaotic sequences until everything slows down and there’s a young man in a space suit (Joji?) running to get on a rocket. I’m pretty sure he’s stealing it. He gives the middle-finger to Houston and the rocket takes flight. The video ends with what appears to be the man in the spacesuit dying while a clock counts down. I’m fucking lost.
Have no fear though, because all of his videos are completely insane, and who doesn’t like completely insane artists? His video for Run came out in February and it’s essentially him running down a never ending stretch limousine and the best part is he’s ducked down the whole time. Oops there is an end to the limo, a plasma screen or something…Joji smashes through it. Then we get to another slow ending sequence with a robotic voice repeating “Wake up. Please, wake up” while he seems to be somewhere else completely. I’m smart and I’m lost, so don’t feel bad. This guy Joji is literally everyone’s brain these days because of corona.
BONUS From My Own Findings (Not Instagram Girl): Oliver Tree
Now onto the straight weird. And isn’t it a glorious weirdo…Oliver Tree and his new single Let Me Down. The video for this single is hilarious. He released the video on April 7th and already has over 8.7 million views on Youtube…I’m not mad at it either. The aesthetic to the video is fucking perfect. Oliver’s got on a set of JNCO’s not seen since 96′ and he’s in a straight neon pink and baby blue velour jacket with a pair of comically large headphones on, as he attempts to power punk his vocals through the microphone hanging in the box they have set him in for the video. But the mic keeps moving around while he’s singing.
Oliver’s punk vocals are perfect for the single and this motherfucker better drop an album soon. He’s got all the time in the world because of the lockdown. Then again, from the look of that bowl cut and the worn JNCO’s this psycho might never leave his room again.
More from this nut job below.