Categories
Album Release Albums

Add to Queue: New Releases – Dorian Electra “My Agenda”

Being a hyper masculine edgelord is officially gay™ now, thanks in no small part to queer hyperpop icon Dorian Electra and their new album, My Agenda. With colorful production by Count Baldor, Dylan Brady, Clarence Clarity, umru, and many others, the versatile soundscapes on My Agenda embody every conceivable sound from bubblegum-bass to dubstep and aggressive noise rock.

Dorian’s previous album, Flamboyant, deconstructed gender roles and masculine archetypes ranging from the cowboy to the sugar daddy, business mogul, and boxers/street fighters. On My Agenda, they are cranking the satire up to eleven, tackling the culture surrounding incels and gamers on tracks like “Edgelord,” featuring Rebecca Black, as well as “Gentleman,” and “M’lady.” They also hilariously unpack the sexually ambiguous homosocial dude-bro dynamic on “Sorry Bro (I Love You).”

The standout tracks are “My Agenda” featuring Village People and Pussy Riot, “F the World” with the Garden, Quay Dash, and d0llywood, and “Ram it Down,” with Mood Killer, Lil Mariko, and Lil Texas. These tracks all embody the tortuous relationships that men have with sexuality and masculinity that the patriarchy imposes upon them. “Ram it Down,” speaks from the perspective of a person who perpetuates the age-old homophobic trope of being “fine with gay people, as long as they don’t shove their sexuality in my face,” (“Hey man/Love all you want/But just don’t ram it down my throat”). The breakdown of the song, which culminates in Lil Mariko screaming, “RAM IT DOWN! RAM IT DOWN! RAM IT DOWN!” over and over again, is a sonic assault of chaotic, hard-hitting dubstep beats and death metal vocal dynamics hitting the listener over the head.

On the outstanding title track “My Agenda,” Electra reclaims all the disparaging rhetoric that straight people love to rattle off at the expense of queer people, spreading their conspiracy theories about the quote-un-quote “gay agenda.” Dorian touches on the Lavender Scare, which prevented people from hiring queer people during the Eisenhower administration (“You can always spot us/By the way we walk/As we’re plotting to take over/And destroy you all”), the AIDS crisis (“My agenda/Will infect ya”), and even those infamous InfoWars conspiracy theories about frogs (“We’re out here turning frogs homosexual”).

There are up to eleven features on this album, which can be a risk for many artists, because the guests could easily outshine the main act. However, like their collaborative pop contemporary, Charli XCX, Dorian is an excellent collaborator. These features add so much quality to the project. Mood Killer and Quay Dash are two of my favorite underground acts at the moment, and both of their verses are hilarious and deliciously fierce.

Tackling topics as grim as incels, edgelords, toxic masculinity, and homophobia is not an easy wormhole to venture into. Dorian Electra’s ability to satirize such grim subject matter and collaborate seamlessly with innovative producers and futuristic sounds makes them one of the most exciting artists of today.

Categories
Album Release

Add to Queue – New Releases: Sizzy Rocket “ANARCHY”

Emerging alt-pop powerhouse and Vegas native, Sizzy Rocket, deserves to be on everybody’s radar. Her unique soundscape of rebellious, punk-tinged dark hyperpop is a bold combination that music consumers like myself have been starved for.

Her sophomore album, Grrrl–one of my absolute favorite releases of 2019–was a trap-infused dark pop album about self-discovery, heartbreak, and sexuality. The title was influenced by her love for Riot Grrrl and the production invoked shades of modern hip hop acts like Travis Scott and Denzel Curry. Her iconic raspy falsetto, and the emotionally-wrought soundscapes of each song coupled with her messy and unfiltered lyrics that detailed her life of excessive partying, touring, and fleeting romantic relationships with men and women was awe-inspiring, gritty and fresh.

Her newest album, ANARCHY, is a much more bold, definitive, and liberated body of work. Rocket has described the album title as “a nod to [her] punk roots and [her] own personal chaos… [Anarchy] is a state of disorder due to non-recognition of authority. Nobody can tell you what to do or who to be.”

Recorded in an “eight-day creative outburst” last winter, ANARCHY is the chaotic, messy, and unfiltered soundtrack to Rocket shedding an old skin after a breakup, obliterating old ideas of who she thought she could be. If Grrrl was the product of a star emerging from underwater, ANARCHY is her bursting to the surface.

Her punk attitude and unapologetic rockstar bravado on two of the album’s opening tracks, “That Bitch,” and “Running with Scissors,” is contagious. The repackaged trap-punk instrumentatals are also extremely fresh and gritty. “& It Feels Like Love” is an ode to the ’70s and ’80s, complete with nods to “Strawberry Fields Forever,” and Janis Joplin. The distorted bass also sounds like it could easily be a riff that was plucked from PJ Harvey’s Rid of Me.

Her dark humor is another massive highlight. The most reviled type of person in our society is often a woman who acts out for attention. “Crazy Bitch” sympathizes with this archetype and unpacks the spectacle of the “crazy bitch.” The song is told from the perspective of the “crazy bitch,” allowing her to control her own narrative outside of the horrendous jokes and comments people make at her expense. The lyrics take shots at the people who claim to hate her, when in reality they are the same people who depend on her antics for entertainment (“I would die just to be someone/Ain’t that exactly what you want”).

The sonic outbursts on the album’s closer, “Queen of the World,” perfectly mirror the pure chaos in the chorus as she paints a picture of herself hanging out the window of a speeding car, screaming at the top of her lungs “I could live forever in this moment!” Her mission statement for this album was to take back her power, to be reckless, and unapologetically own her stories without having to water down her identity. And it’s very clear that the process was extremely cathartic for her.

Listen: