THE GIRL POWER ISSUE | VOLUME 2
heart eyes WOMEN
the team editor in chief gabi yost creative director jared elliott public relations caleigh wells & ashleigh haddock photography coordinator heather zalabak production jiselle santos & ky kasselman social mediamadi mize editor ava butera music coordinator brandon quiroga
the contributors writers
ana gomez, amelia zollner, carissa mathena, chelsea holecek, ej jolly, erin christie, jada moore, katherine stallard mallory haynes, mckayla dyk, carla contreras
athena merry, erin christie, allison barr, sydney king, emma valles
georgia moore, becca burroughs a special thank you to the those who contributed artwork claire torak, anna bundrick, and domonique jordaan
twitter @hearteyesmag instagram @hearteyesmag website hearteyesmag.com
for submissions & questions, email us at
A LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
As we watch the years come and go, I am filled with gratitude towards all the people behind the scenes who make HEM function. Without them HEM would just be another dream on a shelf. Throughout the year there has been hundreds of hard working people submitting photographs, reviews, and articles that truly make what we do here worth it. This year we were lucky enough to release 5 Issues and a Zine; highlighting bands from COIN to Ashe and The Aces. Issue 11 is no exception. It is amazing to have female fronted and female bands on our covers, and this month we have one of my favorites, HINDS! Reading the interview we did with them is inspiring and it makes me want to pursue my passions even more. Happy belated New Year from the Heart Eyes Magazine. 2018 was a good year for us and we are so excited to see what 2019 will bring. This will be a great one, Stay tuned. Best,
gabi yost, editor in chief
art by Anna Bundrick
interviews hinds kopps crimson apple
24 42 48
reads miya folick: a ‘premonition’ of the future of pop an end to paid early entry abolishing the “female-fronted” label death of the artist the impact of album art maggie rogers: the voice of the millennial generation
expanding your music taste lynchstock music fest alie x review
11 16 20 28 32 36 44 54
photography diet cig hippo campus jeremy zucker hozier the band camino lany mallrat troye sivan carlie hanson kim petras iceage day24 the wombats
9 12 14 18 22 30 34 38 40 46 50 52 56
diet c i photos by a then
am er r
A ‘PREMONITION’ OF THE FUTURE OF POP
Los Angeles-based artist, Miya Folick is riding a wave which doesn’t seem to be coming down anytime soon. The singer-songwriter’s debut album, Premonitions, released via Interscope Records this October, has drawn a multitude of praise from many of music’s biggest publications, such as Pitchfork, Stereogum, and NPR to name a few. This buzz, rightfully deserved, has brought her on a solo tour of the US and Europe, as well as opening for established bands within the alternative music scene such as Sunflower Bean and Pale Waves -- bands who equally had successful years. I had the pleasure of seeing her warm up the stage for the latter at the Culture Room in Fort Lauderdale last month, and there it became clear what the hype was all about. From the moment she walked on stage, clad in a fluorescent orange cropped Adidas hoodie and matching triple-striped black shorts, Miya captivated every soul in the intimate 600 person-capacity venue. Opening with the single “Stock Image”, her remarkable vocals shone through the flawless instrumentation of her full touring band. Taking time between tracks to interact with the audience, her stage presence was so cool and casual that it was easy to see how in-her-element she becomes on stage. A high point in the eight song set, Miya’s performance of “Deadbody”—a searing piece on Harvey Weinstein and the #MeToo movement—is just one example of how fresh and relevant the content of Premonitions is. Miya has often said how making Premonitions was “like [she was] finally making the album [she] always wanted to make,” and the strong sense of vulnerability and transparency that is so deeply ingrained in the record definitely attests to her vision of creating music that mirrors life, and that people can relate to. Miya Folick is a force to be reckoned with, and I can’t wait to see her stellar work propel her into international acclaim in 2019 and beyond.
BY ANA GOMEZ
an end to paid early entry by Amelia Zolner By Amelia Zollner It’s no secret that the concert ticket industry has become known for being extremely greedy. Ticket prices have raised exponentially, heavy fees have been added to ticket prices, and a few large companies like Ticketmaster have monopolized the industry. In recent years, these companies, along with bands themselves, have discovered a new way to earn even more money: making attendees pay extra money to enter the venue early. And I, along with plenty of other concertgoers, have a huge problem with it. Around a year ago, my friends and I saw Hippo Campus. We had the day off of school and, in hopes of getting to see one of our favorite bands from barricade, we arrived at the venue at around 11 or 12 in the morning that day. There were about five people in front of us, meaning that we had a sure spot at barricade. So we waited there the entire day, fending off the chilly mid-February Chicago air with cheap Ikea blankets and hand warmers shoved inside of gloves. We were absolutely freezing. But in the moment, we didn’t care. The sheer excitement about seeing Hippo Campus from the front row was all that mattered. But right before we entered, we learned that people who had purchased the VIP package for around 80 dollars gained early entrance to the venue, completely bypassing and invalidating the line we had waited in for hours. I was disappointed. I had spent my entire day waiting only to be cut by people who definitely did not spend an entire day shivering on the street with numb hands to defend their spots.
By no means do I intend to call out Hippo Campus by saying this. I still support them and I understand that they’re just trying to make some extra money, given the circumstances around ticketing fees and bands making little to no money off of said ticket sales. However, it’s not just them. I’ve experienced this same exact story countless times. I’ve been first in line only to have to watch the show behind people who had the opportunity to pay to cut me. As a high school student without a reliable job, I can barely afford the price of concert tickets alone. I’m willing and even excited to wait in line for hours to get close to the stage at any show, but I definitely cannot afford to shell out an extra 80+ dollars every time I want a chance at being front row. To me, the point of general admission has always been unity. There’s nothing like being packed like sardines in a crowd of sweaty strangers all there for the same reason: music. And to most people, their ultimate goal is to see the band they love from the front row. But when bands charge extra for the chance to get close, it divides people. It creates a sort of unspoken social hierarchy: the fans who waited without paying are trapped in the back while the fans who could afford to pay extra are treated as the elite, receiving a better view and a better experience altogether. When ticket companies and bands start making fans pay extra to enter the venue early, it defeats the entire purpose of general admission tickets. And it’s unfair. Dedication to a band should be measured by willingness to wait in line for hours, not money.
photos photosby byHeather heatherZalaback zalabak
jeremy zucker photos by Ky Kasselman
Abolishing the Label “FemaleFronted” ERIN CHRISTIE
“13 Female-Fronted Bands That You Should
Listen To,” your favorite music blog boasts. And you think nothing of it: you want to support women in music, you want to know who deserves your attention, right? Sure, but one mustn’t forget to note the clear patriarchy at play here, even with good intentions in mind. “Female-fronted” is oftentimes used interchangeably with descriptors such as “alt-pop,” “indie,” or “instrumental,” creating an unnecessary sub-category that separates women in the musical sphere from their male counterparts. You might think, “but what’s wrong with classifying a band as ‘female-fronted’ if that is actually true?” Sure, it’s logical, but in defining a band by this factor, this creates a divide between bands that do happen to have women in a lead position, marking them as unworthy of being categorized alongside bands who don’t have the same member-dynamic. In a word or two: it’s sexist. If you tried to think of any instance where “male-fronted” as a genre, you’d have to scrounge around for ages and ultimately come up with dust. Such a descriptor has simply never been used. Why? Because, with the false genre of “female-fronted” considered, male musicians are seen as the default and women in music are but an outlier or a second thought. “[That label] makes us feel like we can’t play with the boys,” Looming vocalist, Jessica Knight, noted in an interview with New Noise Magazine. Even in categories outside of music, girls are constantly being pushed to the backburner simply because of gender alone, and it’s a process that is incredibly isolating. Made to think that they are unfit to stand among the rest of the ranks—which is largely and unfortunately male-dominated to begin with—“female-fronted” bands are conditioned to duke it out against each other so as to not fade into public obscurity. The same can’t be said for men in the same positions. “Acts as disparate as Debbie Harry, The Bangles, and Beyoncé have all been at risk of being pigeonholed simply for their gender, when in actuality, their songwriting, powerful performances, and effortless charisma have transcended any preconceptions about being male or female,” notes writer for Louder than War, Sam Lambeth. In other words, despite being literal musical power-houses, women always seem to be seen as lesser, or at least, in a separate category, when such fails to recognize that their work is oftentimes just as good, if not better, than that of their male peers. In the 50’s, even the “Queen Rockabilly,” Janis Martin, was marketed to audiences as the “female Elvis
Presley.” Her publicists assumed that her talent wasn’t enough to draw in audiences, but rather, that listeners needed an incentive to follow Martin, stating that she was similar to a beloved man in the same genre. For the industry, it’s not enough to be just as is, or even more, gifted than your male peers- the fact that you’re a woman makes you inherently less likely to sell or even chart. “But in the face of a largely structureless industry where men hold the majority of the power and women are often devoid of recourse, legal or otherwise, women have had to take up the heavy burden of demanding equity in an industry that is built to keep them out,” Amy Zimmerman of the Daily Beast aptly put. Misogyny runs rampant in so many areas of life, and oftentimes, industry officials and even members of the public hate to see women succeed in their craft, and this affects things too. Why is it necessary to tear women down when they succeed? When recognized adequately, women in the music sphere are held to way higher standards than men. Gathered from very little searching, it’s easy to see that regardless of talent, women—such as Dua Lipa, Ariana Grande, and Halsey— seem to garner a ridiculous amount of hate, and very most of the time, it’s unwarranted. In the same regard, many argue that women in music—as frontwomen or otherwise—only have the fame that they do because of appearances, rather than genuine hardwork and that’s another atrocity. With the industry trying to tear women down so desperately, one can argue that flocking to “female-fronted” bands and female artists in general makes sense. And yes, it does. But in turn, one needs to also note the implications of said descriptor. While women in music still need to be championed and uplifted because—more often than not—they get shoved to the bottom of the totem pole regardless of their craft, choosing to label an artist or band based on that fact does nothing to highlight the quality of what they’re creating. Rather, it puts the focus on the fact that they are women, not that they are simply talented and worthy of an audience’s time in the same way that any male musicians would be.
HOZIE R Live in Los Angeles | Photos by Emma Valles
THE THE DEATH DEATH OF OF THE THE ARTIST: ARTIST: AN AN ALTERNATIVE ALTERNATIVE TAKE TAKE ON ON MUSIC MUSIC CRITICISM CRITICISM Following Pitchfork’s brutal and scathing article about
Greta Van Fleet’s debut album, Anthem of the Peaceful Army, I started really thinking about the way we critique music. Professional music critics, specifically those that work at major magazines, up until recently had the power to completely sink someone’s career; see Pitchfork’s coverage of Partie Traumatic which caused Black Kids to split from
Columbia and not make another record for a decade. The
influence of the Internet has pretty much made this impos-
author”. Some might think you really are just “separating
sible - music streaming has overtaken the record sale, and
the art from the artist”, defending problematic behavior
there’s no risk when downloading an album except time
because their music is good. A song may be nearly indeci-
pherable without the artist’s explanation and supplemental information. It may even seem insulting to ignore an artists’
But the influence of the Internet has brought about an-
intent when their music was created from deeply person-
other phenomenon as well. If you read our previous issue,
al trauma and experiences. But for the casual listener, or
contributing writer Erin Christie had a fantastic article
someone a decade or more removed from release, will
about the recent rise of “cancel culture” in the indie music
those authorial details be easily accessible? Though with
scene. She briefly touched upon the idea of “separating
the Internet, maybe they will be going forward.
the art from the artist”, which actually got me thinking even deeper about how that ties into music criticism.
But the point of applying this type of critique to music is that the listener has the final word in what a song means to
Now “separating the art from the artist” is usually argued
them. Once an artist puts their music out into the world, it
when someone is attempting to reconcile their like and
doesn’t completely belong to them anymore. They don’t
appreciation of something with the fact that the creator is a
have control over what people think about it, or even if
person of questionable morals. But I recently discovered a
they’ll like it. And people’s interpretations and criticism of
form of critique that sort of pokes at this concept - but not
music vary drastically based on lyrics, musicality, produc-
for the purpose of reconciliation. Penned in a 1967 essay
tion, and so many more factors. And I think that putting
of the same name by French literary critic Roland Barthes,
less weight into the words and intentions of an artist can
“the death of the author” is a style of criticism that argues
lead to many positive things - more fan engagement and
that the author (later expanded to creators of all media)
discussion, dismantling of the pedestal between artist and
should not be an influence on the analyzation of their work.
fan, and a more focused view on music criticism.
Meaning their background, religion, personal views or intent with the work should not be held to the same critical
When it comes to critiquing music, everything should be
standard as the work itself, and the reader’s thoughts and
definitely be taken into account - but music should be
interpretations are actually what matter most.
judged on its own merit. The main job of a professional music critic should be to critique the music - providing
Can this concept be applied to music? Can music be
information that helps examine that, but not delving into
judged mainly on the basis of ‘good or bad’, regardless of
every facet of the artists’ background (and definitely not
who the creators are as people?
insulting them for what you call retro-fetishism and wearing costumes on stage. Do better, Pitchfork.) And if you don’t
Music magazines have certainly been doing this for years
read professional music criticism, then it is up to you, the
- it is extremely apparent in classic rock and pop, where
listener, to analyze the music yourself. And from there,
some bands and artists have been accused of everything
to critique the artists’ behavior and decide if the music is
ranging from being huge jerks to sexual misconduct. See
worth supporting the kind of person that’s behind it. Only
Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, Anthony Kiedis of Red Hot
you can be the judge of that.
Chilli Peppers, and Bill Wyman of the Rolling Stones - who all had numerous relationships with underage girls as young as 13. (One last touch on “cancel culture” - I think it may be time to start applying it retroactively. Even ‘legends’ don’t deserve a pass on this kind of behavior.) Though there are definitely many nuances when it comes to looking at music through the lens of “the death of the
THE BAND CAMINO KY KASSELMEN
HINDS HINDS JISELLE SANTOS
In September, I sat down with Carlotta Cosials and Ade Martin of Hinds. Hinds is a four piece indie rock band from Madrid, Spain. Forming in 2011, the band consists of Carlotta Cosials being lead vocals and guitar; Ana Perrote on vocals and guitar, Ade Martin on bass and backing vocals and Amber Grimbergen on the drums. Having grown popular in the last year since releasing I Don’t Run, Hinds have been touring non-stop with their never-ending charms and talents that will surely make you want to fall in love with them.
You guys had just released I Don’t Run in April, shortly after attending SXSW? So what was that like performing the songs from that album to audiences during SXSW? Ade: I think it was a great warm-up for what came after. As we played so many shows, we took this as a warm-up, like a rehearsal. As we played so many times a day, with sets in the morning and at night, having them being 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 40 minutes, we got to see how songs went together. Carlotta: We got to see how the crowd reacts, the evolution of a set, thinking about a set list is not that easy. Once you have two records, you have a lot of choices. So it was very nice to have so many shows and so little time to get experience to improve a song or to think, “oh this song is cooler than what we thought!” or “not as cool as we thought!” Ade: Yeah, you get ideas from that!
anything. What we usually say is that we get to know the city because of the people that come to the shows. Even cities that are very close to each other, people behave very differently. But definitely, with different continents, it’s like another world. [With] people in America, music has been a part of your life, since ever, and that has a lot of youth, which is refreshing to see young people see a band like we are. Then in Europe, music is more of a culture thing. There’s much older people mixed with young there. They really like Hinds because we remind them of another band that had existed in 60s or whatever. It’s kind of like to study - or something like that. Still, the kind of band definitely makes the difference. Everybody in the end dances, and everybody wants to have fun.
Is there a favorite venue that you have played so far? And is there a venue that you wish to play in the future? Ex: Red Rocks in Colorado, 9:30 club in DC, Bowery ballroom or MSG in NY? Carlotta: We’ve played the 9:30 club before. We haven’t played Red Rocks but we wanna play Red Rocks! I wanna play Radio City Music Hall because it’s in New York. We love New York Ade: I wanna play Las Ventas! Carlotta: Ahh yes! Las Ventas, it’s in Madrid! It’s a stadium! Ade: It’s where all the good bands play! I mean, it doesn’t have to be good but I mean the big bands. *everyone laughs*
To add on, touring in Europe and in the United
How was the recording and producing process
States, what would you say is different between
with I Don’t Run different from Leave Me Alone?
the two crowds? How do are they different, are
Different producers, different settings, interesting
the venues bigger in the states then in Europe?
stories while producing the new record?
Bigger age differences and or demographic? Carlotta: I think every single city has its own kind of behavior. When you’re touring, you really don’t get to see
Carlotta: The way for writing was very similar in the end. We still don’t know what a producer actually does. In the first record, one of our best friends, it was his first record too. So it felt that we trusted his taste a lot more but he
Photos by Carrine Hen
wasn’t in the writing producer. However, for I Don’t Run, we produced it with Gordon Raphael and he actually didn’t change anything in the writing process either. In the end, he was waiting for us to make the decisions. It felt more or less that we had produced it. We are still not very sure on what is the usual thing for producer. Ade: I think in our heads, we really knew what we wanted with I Don’t Run compared to Leave Me Alone. With Leave Me Alone, we were a little bit more lost. It was our first record, our first time recording our own songs. It was something really really new for us. With I Don’t Run, you can really tell that we’ve been in a studio before, we really knew about sound and what we wanted and were more wise.
The song, “New For You”, which is quite a popular song both live and from the album, what can you say the message can taken away from it? Many
Ade: Then The Strokes happened. Carlotta: The Strokes happened before that though! What are your favorite The Strokes songs? Ade: Mine is “The Modern Age” from the first record. Carlotta: I think I prefer the second record rather than the first one. I think it’s because I have the cd and I play it lots. If I had to pick [my favorite] songs then I would say the first album, but if I had to pick my favorite album, it would be the second.
Does it vary depending on the day? Carlotta: Well, they made a masterpiece, both of the albums. Even the third album is good. Ade: The third one is amazing! The first one gets better time.
people interpret in various ways like not letting
Who have you been listening to recently or your
people get to you personally in some type of
latest musical obsession and how did you find out
Carlotta: It is true that lots of people do get it wrong. It’s very usual in pop songs to blame “on the rest” to blame your shortcomings. That’s why I think it’s why Hinds can’t be that “pop” because we are very fair in that way. We blame ourselves lots. Maybe it has something to do with gender too, the fact that we’re girls. We’ve written our own stuff. We want to be clear. We know that sometimes that we commit mistakes. It’s not that easy to admit that you’re committing a mistake and you have a weight of mistakes from your life on your back chasing you forever. You’re gonna have that and you’re gonna live with that. We decided to make art with that and that is cool but also a very particular process - almost like therapy. In “New For You”, when you’re in love with someone, you want to be better and you want to improve yourself, sometimes you can’t do that because of your past. Sometimes, you have done things that had made you who you are. I think choosing love to try and become a better you is beautiful. Love as a reason is cool.
Ade: Mustard Service!!
Who and what have been your influences to music? Any favorite artists, writers, authors that had led
*everyone in the room laughs* ( Mustard Service were in the room during the interview) Carlotta: Mustard Service. We also listen to… Ade: Twin Peaks. Carlotta: We also listen to Good Bye Honolulu and I discovered Peach Pit! Do you happen to know Peach Pit?
Yes! Love them - they’re from Canada right? Carlotta: I think so, they seem like they do! Ade: I discovered Paul Cherry, he’s from Chicago. Very good! Carlotta: Har Mar Superstar. Ade: The Nude Party! Carlotta: Chai, they’re a Japanese band! Ade: What was the Japanese band you had recommended to us the other day? *talking to the band members of Mustard Service* Mustard Service: Sunset Rollercoaster!
you to where you are today?
How did you guys find most of these bands?
Carlotta: I think one of the records that had changed my life for real is Mac DeMarco’s “2”. When I first heard that, I was like “What!!? I don’t understand this but I don’t know this at all. Who is this guy?” I listened to it from a friend before I knew his face, the cover of the album, or anything. I was like,”What the hell is this? it’s called Mac Demarco, this is awesome! I love it!” I remember I downloaded the album illegally and I passed it to Ana, we were so f*cking obsessed with it.
Carlotta: We found Chai when we played the same day as them at Fuji Rock in Japan since we were playing. They were huge fans and it was really fun seeing them. Peach Pit, I had no idea maybe on the recommended songs on spotify or something like that.
The Impact of Album Art
We’re told not to “judge a book by its cover,” and
with that in mind, the same could apply to records. Like a novel, expressing images of forbidden romance, epic
adventures, and cryptic puzzles, albums are comprised,
oftentimes, of the deepest parts of an artist’s soul. In any artistic capacity, it goes without saying that the person behind the paintbrush, guitar, or keyboard, is making
themselves vulnerable in the instances that they create. Vulnerable to criticism and vulnerable to the emotions that such crafting might unearth.
“As the law of physics suggests, you see things before
you hear them,” Deep Shah of humanhuman writes of the power of album artwork. Influenced by the internet and the rapid pace at which content can be published and
subsequently shared over and over again, we’re often-
times introduced to new artists and songs without even knowing it. Because of social media, for example, we
don’t get the chance to hear new music via our home-
town’s radio station including their track on rotation as
often as we encounter said artist’s tweets on our timeline. Admittedly, a lot of the artist’s that I’ve become a fan of have initially intrigued me due to their aesthetic appeal
from the get-go. If an album is visually-compelling, based
the artists themselves. An album’s artwork serves as the precursor for what is to come: oftentimes, it’s actually
imagery pertains to the general theme, message, genre of the content. Sometimes, it might just be a manifestation of the artist’s personal visual preferences. Regardless,
these conscious choices have a large effect on artist-audience communications.
Indie folk pioneer, Daniel Johnston, for example, gained
recognition for not only his unique musical style, but also for his artistic prowess. Each of his albums are adorned
with his own artwork, often warbly and crooked in nature, but uniquely his. He had always been determined to es-
cape from an “ordinary life” and wanted something more: “‘I’ve got to be an artist. I’ve got to be famous,’” he re-
called once saying in an interview with the NY Times. His art is heavily symbolic, often featuring items that matter to him (such as Captain America or Casper the Friendly
Ghost), alongside his own creations- such as Jeremiah the Innocent- and even the devil. These pieces, even without knowing what kind of music Johnston creates, gives way
to the type of person he is, the charming “Johnson-isms” that make him such a note-worthy musician and creative in a general sense.
on the cover, title, etc, alone, I’m drawn to give it a listen,
Consider various infamous covers—such as Nirvana’s
be considered pieces of pop culture legacy if they hadn’t
possibly more than if said cues weren’t as attention-grab-
Now, more than ever, an artist’s representation of said
“aesthetic” has a heightened sense of importance which includes album/single artwork. Scrolling through Spotify for the “next big thing” becomes a search for a needle
in a haystack, or in this case, the most visually intriguing
Nevermind or Green Day’s American Idiot: they wouldn’t either a) stirred controversy, b) served to spark societal commentary, or c) drew in the eye simply due to their
striking nature. In any sense, though, album artwork is
much more than a part of a record’s packaging, but rather, they are an extension of the music itself.
piece among the rest.
Whether something as intricate as the immaculate self-
“For decades, cover artwork’s main purpose was to
yet massively symbolic rectangle that adorns The 1975’s
compete for attention with other albums on the same
rack at the record store. Now, that rack has been replaced by social media timelines,” notes Pigeons & Planes’, Eric Skelton.
portrait that introduces FKA twigs’ LP1 to the simple,
self-titled, album artwork is a necessary component in
the music-listening and creating experience. It bonds the musician with their craft, and makes known the intention of the record itself through visual means.
Similarly to the manner by which our taste in style, hair
color, and more represent a part of us, album artwork can serve the same purpose by for the music in question and
LANY Ky Kassleman
Maggie Rogers: The Voice of a Millennial Generation CHELSEA HOLECEK 32
Change is terrifying, cathartic, and overwhelming rolled into one all-encompassing emotion. We fear change; the thought of veering down a different path than we expected is overbearing. We’d rather go through the motions of a boring daily routine than experience the unusual. But Maggie Rogers isn’t afraid to step out into the abyss of unpredictability. She’s a 24-year-old musician who sings about personal growth and uncertainty of the future, a true millennial testament. In a sea of alike popstars, Rogers sticks out like a sore thumb but in a way that isn’t obnoxious, it’s a breath of fresh air. Following the viral success of her song ‘Alaska’ getting high praise from Pharrell Williams during a masterclass at NYU, Rogers’ popularity skyrocketed quickly. Soon after that, she released her debut EP ‘Now That The Light Is Falling,’ a glimpse into what her creative journey was like as an aspiring musician. Full of woodsy, ethereal beats, Rogers established herself as someone who could hang in a music industry full of legendary icons, not only as a liberated woman in music but as a promising artist that’s strongly aware of who she is. And it’s well-deserved; she’s making music for the broken-hearted in all of us and not just in the sense of failed relationships. It’s also about the loss of reality, the ever-changing emotions we endure when we dissociate from everything that makes us feel. The topic is taboo—who wants to discuss feeling a bit lost when we want so desperately to have things figured out? The pressure to be all the things we conjured up when we were young is an impossible dream and a jealousy-ridden destiny when we compare ourselves to the lives around us. Rogers has given those avid dreamers a voice. When I first heard “Dog Years,” I felt an overall sentiment of joy. Someone finally understood me, in a way that I couldn’t even fathom. She created a song that captured the essence of every early adult’s struggle—the burdening worry of not knowing where we’ll end up. It’s a comfort unlike any other, to know that someone whose path is separate than mine could be so much like me and in a way that’s so overwhelmingly similar. When she beggingly belts “We will be alright,” I feel it so deeply in my heart, leaving me awestruck—she’s practically saying despite all this grueling transformation we face, we’ll come out the other side, hopefully mildy unscathed and beaming with a growth so bright, it’ll be blinding. ‘Light On’ continues her road down uncertainty of life ahead—she wrote it about her instant fame after the success of ‘Alaska.’ She describes the uncontrollable desire
to take a break from it all when the attention came at her fast and furiously. But she never abandoned it, sticking by her truth and forcefully believing in herself to adamantly concoct an anthem that could be interpreted as a beacon of light for the emotionally lost souls searching for a sign to push harder in their self-discovery. Years and years of trekking down a path that seemed never-ending with no manifestation of seeking a purpose in this life, Rogers perfectly summed up an emotion that I had trouble conveying for so long. It’s not very often I stumble across a musician who depicts my situation so easily that it’s almost like they took a peek into the deepest corners of my mind. While the song is written about her coming to terms with her fast-earned fame, it’s also about treading the narrow road of doubt and broadening our horizon. There’s so much thrust upon us—an overzealous demand to be successful despite not knowing what we want, to find our one true love we’ll be with for eternity, to find our purpose. It becomes almost disappointedly sad when we can’t scrounge out the possibility of becoming someone who makes a difference. Rogers reminds us we can do anything even if there doesn’t seem to be much hope left in our hearts. As a twenty-something meagerly struggling to make sense of the passions I’ve become so accustomed to fleshing out in my mind, Rogers has reassured me what I’m going through is valid. I blast ‘Light On’ and think to myself, the obstacles I encounter along this rough-edged course I’m walking down will shape me into the best person I can be. Every once in a while, there’s an artist that unifies without any amount of effort. For me, Rogers has effortlessly produced an image that communicates a notion we all need to hear: We aren’t alone in this fight of loneliness and change. Just like when I first discovered “Dog Years,” Rogers gave me something tangible, a feeling of utter motivation that I can achieve my wildest dreams without strife because she’s right there, telling me I’ll be alright.
The Power of Expanding Your Music Taste and Why KPop Has a Place in this World JADA MOORE
KPop. While the word is simply a shortened form for “Korean pop,” the word itself is shadowed by many negative connotations. “KPop fans are this, KPop fans are that, I hate KPop because of the fans.” Or maybe you’ll hear this: “Oh, you’re one of those people now, aren’t you?” That’s usually what you hear the first time you bring up this topic to someone, isn’t it? To also see someone’s face turn to disgust in a matter of seconds, over a matter as simple as a type of music, is purely amazing. These statements and reactions appear in many forms, but none are less hurtful by any means. Even many radio stations in the west are prejudice against the genre. Aren’t radio stations supposed to give fair opportunities to all musicians? Why is it okay for them to not play a group or artist simply because they’re singing in their native tongue? The media plays a part in this as well. The media will sometimes censor a word a Korean artist is singing simply because the word sounds like an English swear word. This is especially damaging because the words won’t have the same meaning or spelling, however the media will interpret the word however they want without researching the true meaning. Examples of censorship in KPop songs can be heard in BTS’ ‘Suga’ and BlackPink’s ‘Jennie’. To broaden the topic at hand -- expanding your music taste beyond music genres of the vernacular -- I seeked out some insight from other music fans turned KPop ones.
Sydney King -- HEM Photographer HEM: Besides KPop, which other genre is your favorite?
SK: “Besides KPop, I’m really into alternative music. It’s been my favorite for years, and some of my favorite bands include The 1975, Bad Suns, and Catfish & The Bottlemen.”
HEM: What reaction do people usually have when you tell them you like KPop? SK: “People usually laugh or roll their eyes and they’re like, “Aren’t you too old for that?”, but music is universal. KPop is just pop music in, you guessed it, Korean! The only difference is that it’s in another language.” HEM: What’s a common misconception many people have about KPop that you wish they wouldn’t have? SK: “People think that all KPop idols are manufactured robots. Honestly, I had that idea of it as well, about a year ago. However, if people took the time to look deeper into the genre, I think they’ll understand and realize how hard these groups and artists work. They put in so much work, and their production is so high quality. I respect that a lot. I think KPop is more than just the good looking idols, there’s a lot that goes into it! Some groups have 20 hour days where they just work on choreography, which is wild! “ Paulina Lopez -- KPop music fan HEM: Besides KPop, which other genre is your favorite? PL: “My other favorite genre beside KPop would have to be indie.” HEM: What reaction do people usually have when you tell them you like K-pop? PL: “I usually don’t tell people that I listen to KPop, because I’m scared they’ll react negatively. However, to the people I do tell, they’re normally surprised. They usually think I’m like a “crazy stan,” or that I like KPop just because
the artists are attractive.” HEM: What’s a common misconception many people have about KPop that you wish they wouldn’t have? PL: “A misconception that I think a lot of people have about KPop is that the music, the visuals, the music videos, the style, and even the members are all artificial or made up in some way. And impersonal or that the things they do, have no meaning just because they can’t understand the language.”
Ashley Lertique -- KPop Fan HEM: Besides KPop, which other genre is your favorite? AL: “Indie rock and pop punk.” HEM: What reaction do people usually have when you tell them you like KPop? AL: “They usually look at me with a disgusted face or go silent and change the subject.” HEM: “What’s a common misconception many people have about KPop that you wish they wouldn’t have?” AL: “That it’s not all the same sounding, and that they don’t all have choreographed dances to each song. They have different genres so if you don’t like pop, they have rock, R&B, and so many other genres. It’s not just bubblegum pop and EDM all the time. For example, there’s groups like Day6 and The Rose who play instruments. And there’s solo artists like IU, who do ballads a lot of the time. I think there’s many common misconceptions about the genre.” Reading their responses, immediately I could only nod my head in understanding. And as someone who loves both indie music and KPop tremendously, these are often the words or reactions I see myself daily. From exclusive music scenes like the indie and alternative scenes, these are not uncommon. The rejection is immediate but why is this so okay? The misconceptions many people have can also be hurtful, as these misconceptions lead to a blatant bias against the genre for no other reason than ignorance. I think the most important message we can spread is to be more accepting, which is even more important in this day and age. I want to tell you a bit about how KPop entered my own world, and how in this small amount of time, my eyes have truly been opened. I can recall the earliest experience I had with KPop, which was back in 2014, while watching a Ricky Dillon YouTube video. While dancing with strangers in his “Really Don’t Care” cover music video, I remember two random guys having so much fun dancing with him. I remembered going
to the comments and seeing comments all over saying which group they were from. Unfortunately as time passed on, so had I, but I never forgot. It seems like everything has come full circle now, as you see fast forward four years later, those same guys having a blast with Ricky, have come to have a big part in my life. If you don’t know by now who I’m talking about, it’s BTS. BTS (short for Bangtan Sonyeondan) are respectfully one of the most famous musical groups in the world. I can’t describe to you the feelings of joy I feel when I hear their music. When I see their faces, their laughs, their jokes, everything, it cheers me up instantly. Their dedication to their music, fans, and changing the world is something I not only admire, but am inspired by. I think that’s what matters right there, and is the key. Think about the amount of joy and love your favorite musicians bring you, this is the exact same way fans of KPop feel. Many fans, like myself, who suffer from mental illness also find comfort in the openness and love the musicians give back to us. Through the love, dedication and openness these musicians emit to us fans, it truly makes loving them even better. Many groups also express the love they feel for us back. Since most groups aren’t fluent in English, I can’t tell you how many members I’ve seen attempting to learn English just to communicate with their fans. This is also the case for groups that choose to learn the Japanese language in order to communicate fluently with their fans in Japan. The practice and dedication each artist has to fulfill perfect performances and vocals time after time for their fans is something you’ll never see more apparent than in KPop. Getting into BTS has opened my mind up to the world of KPop. If it wasn’t for them, I don’t think I would’ve known how hard every single group works, and the dedication they have to put something amazing out. I also thank BTS for being the reason I am no longer afraid to branch off and listen to not only other KPop groups, but expanding my music taste entirely. If there’s one message I want you to take away from this article, I want it to be that KPop isn’t some nasty and ugly disease. That KPop is in fact, like any other genre. If you like hip hop, perhaps you’ll like NCT, Sik-K and DPR Live. If you’re into more pop groups, and looking for more girl groups, then BlackPink, Twice and Red Velvet are some good options for you. If you’re more into R&B, WOODZ, DEAN, and Jay Park would be for you. Again, you’ve got to find what you like, and just not let the genre name and the negative connotations scare you off. We can’t be afraid to venture off and open our minds to more than our comfort zones for if we stayed the same, wouldn’t it just be so boring?
TROYE ALLISON BARR
CARLIE hANSON Photos by Allison Barr
WHAT THE F*** IS UP WITH
PATRICIA: We can tell you there’s a new video coming and it’s for a new single. And it will be soon! I don’t want to give away the concept right now. HEM: Ugh! That word: Soon. But that’s totally fair. So, soon. How soon can we hear new KOPPS music? PATRICIA: Before the end of the year!
KOPPS? INTERVIEW BY CARLA CONTRERAS It’s not very often I get to interview a band while drifting in and out of a cough syrup coma but when I do, I only do it with the band Kopps. Stuffy and sneezy, I drove to Burbank, CA to meet with these lovely people and boy, was it an experience! Comprised of singer/percussionist Patricia Patrón, keyboardist/guitarist Kyle O’Hara, bassist Travis Johansen, and their ever- elusive masked drummer Gesture, Kopps brings pop, alternative rock, and electronic together to create a sizzling stage show you’ll be so stoked to see again and again. I had the opportunity to sit down and chat with Kopps about what they’ve been up to, productions dreams, and what we can expect from them in the near future! First off I want to say thank you for being here! I’m actually a fan of you guys! All the work that you’ve done with Joywave, I’m like super stoked on. But my first question is, I’ve actually never seen you guys live, but I’ve read a lot about your show. 42
It’s not so much like a “concert” concert but actually like a SHOW. How would you describe your show to someone who hasn’t necessarily seen you guys live? PATRICIA: So I would say we would try to have as many surprises as we can throughout the show. It is fully choreographed and we try to make everything flow into each other nicely so beyond that we like to have fun with the things that we’re wearing on stage. We also like to get the crowd involved. I’m a fan of interacting with whoever is near me. So if you come, and you’re in the front-HEM: Expect the attention! PATRICIA: This is a warning! I will give you attention! I know you guys have been running around a lot. What’s been your day like? What have you seen so far? Because I know you guys aren’t from around here. Where are you guys from? PATRICIA: We’re from Rochester, NY. So yeah, very very different from here. We’ve been around Burbank today and Hollywood, a few different outlets. HEM: Like a press day? PATRICIA: Yeah! We’ve done some pictures and other interviews. KYLE: Shot a music video the last couple of days. HEM: Oh cool! Can you tell me about that? Or do you guys wanna keep it secret? KYLE: Hmmm. I don’t know how much we can share about it. But the shoot went really well though! TRAVIS: It’s gonna be really good.
Like I mentioned earlier, you guys have worked with Joywave. Can you tell me about how working with them has influenced where you are now? PATRICIA: Sure. So we’ve mostly worked with Dan [Armbruster]. We all grew up together so we’ve been doing music forever pretty much. We decided to work with him when we first started the side project because we knew he had recording capability and he was a friend. Turns out, he was into what we were doing so we got him a little bit more involved. As far as shaping our sound, I think it’s really different from what he does with his music but I think it gives him a chance to have input on something that’s outside of indie rock I guess. So it’s fun for him and fun for us because we get that perspective also so it’s a mutually beneficial relationship. So we’ve, of course, been influenced by that partnership. Are you guys gonna be touring soon? I’m really interested in the concept of touring cause I know it’s a lot of, you play shows and you’re just getting from A to B. So what do you do in between? KYLE: Drive! PATRICIA: Yeah, there’s a lot of driving! I try to like write independently if we’re not doing something that’s for a specific time and we’re writing as a group, I always like to write if I have down time and we are on the road and just in a vehicle for 10 hours so there’s a lot of that when I’m not sleeping. Honestly, our “getting ready” process, at least mine anyway, is pretty time consuming for the shows so we like to go all out with that sort of stuff and it takes a lot of time up, it eats a lot of time out of the day. I’m hoping to expand that even further soon so I’m assuming that the whole thing is gonna take hours.
So production is gonna be a big thing for your guys in the future? TRAVIS: Absolutely. We hope so. PATRICIA: We hope so! Right now, I think it’s appropriate for the venues that we’re playing, we do what we can but of course with our ideas the sky’s the limit, kind of, as far as what we would eventually like to be doing. I do want to make sure that we always retain our sort of band unit and it’s not just a bunch of backup dancers taking over everything that we’re doing. I think from my perspective I think I want us to be doing that stuff indefinitely. I don’t ever want it to get to a point where it’s--HEM: Too much? PATRICIA: Well, to just where it’s---I saw a show once, the artist left the stage for probably 5 minutes while dancers did stuff which is fine, not to shit on it or anything,but for us, we’re a band and I want to retain the spirit of being a band. Unless we’re doing a costume change, I want us on stage, doing what the dancers are doing. I actually interviewed the band We Are Scientists a few weeks back and I brought up this question to them. Let’s say there’s no budget, like money is not an object, in terms of tour production, what would you do? TRAVIS: Oh my god! PATRICIA: Like sky’s the limit? HEM: Yes! Like money is not an option so you could do whatever!PATRICIA: What would I do? I would have really crazy costuming probably, that would be a priority. Amazing lights would be a priority--TRAVIS: It would be really cool to have other dancers embellishing what we’re doing. That would be really rad. I would even love set design or something crazy like that. PATRICIA: It would be cool to have things shift throughout the show to go with whatever song we’re playing so changing backgrounds and things would be something I would be into also. But also a way to interact with the crowd more fluidly cause if you have monitors on stage and ears and all that and you have to be careful about going into the crowd with them because there’s feedback at the level we’re at so it would be nice to be able to be on a catwalk that like a giant (swirly motion) on of these things and I can touch more than just the front row.
Congrats on getting signed! What do you look forward to the most now that you have a label supporting you? PATRICIA: We’ve been doing a lot of our recording in-house which we’ve been lucky with. It has been a huge strenuous expense for us because we do a lot on our own with our team in Rochester so as far as the label goes, I think the thing we’re looking to the most is being able to get our music to way more people at once through their support and just like target an audience that is likely to be into our stuff. KYLE: Yeah, more ears. PATRICIA: I mean that’s what they do, that’s what they’re good at! I feel like when you’re at our level it’s just important to get your music to as many listeners as possible and having a label definitely helps with that! But as far as touring goes, of course they offer tour support which is great, too. We can do more with production, we can tour more often because touring is very expense. Like you make money but you also spend a lot of money doing it, too. It’s hard to tour all the time if you’re just breaking even. That’ll be something to look forward to, being able to do more with production, we’ll be able to travel further and get more people to seeing us live! For sure! Okay so this is going to be my last question. I really don’t want to keep you guys. I’m sure you’ve had a long day of talking to people like me! Can you guys talk to me about “Hott”? Because I’m so stoked on that song! Talk about its origin and how it came to be? PATRICIA: Sure! First piece of the song is probably the first thing listeners pick up right away that we kind of started with is that wacky trumpet line thing that’s like kind of ugly by itself but in the context of this song, it really works! I think it was an outtake that someone recorded and had laying around and when we heard it, we were like “Okay! We can definitely do something with this!” Dan was actually the one that had that trumpet piece sitting around and was like “hey this is kind of cool” so we started the collaboration process and decided to make it a Kopps featuring Joywave song.
As far as the subject matter, I know we had the melodies done first and I think it was just something that happened naturally. We thought it was a fun juxtaposition between this whacked ugly sounding instrument and then talking about being sexy for someone. So I guess there’s some discrepancy there that we liked.
Kopps is your new favorite band. Trust me. Would I ever let you down? Kopps’ newest single “Hott” is out now! You can stay up-to-date via the band’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. “Hott” feat. Joywave can be streamed on Spotify, SoundCloud, Apple Music and Youtube.
Lynchstock Music Festival: BUILDING A MUSIC HUB FROM THE GROUND UP Written by McKayla Dyk Traditionally held in the spring, Lynchburg Music Festival took a risk by moving the event to October. Not only does this change the feel of the festival completely, but the dates of the festival fell at the same time as Liberty University’s homecoming festivities, doubling the risk of this decision, considering that a large portion of the festival participants and artists are Liberty students themselves.
As always, COIN put on a stellar show. Chase Lawrence’s consistent hair flips make me wonder if his neck hurts after every show. But I respect the dedication and I love seeing artists get lost in their own music, just basking in the energy of the crowd and vibing off their own bandmates. COIN has mastered the art of performance, leaving me with a new appreciation for the music community every time I see them live.
Unfortunately due to the amount of events going on that weekend, I wasn’t able to attend the entire festival, but regardless of the risk, Lynchstock 2018 seemed to go off without a hitch. You can tell the Lynchstock team cares deeply about art and community as they make every effort to prove those wrong who deny Lynchburg, Virginia as a hub of music and culture. In fact, many artists have found a start and a solid support system in Lynchburg. Case in point: Vacation Manor.
Whether you’re an OG fan or hearing a song for the first time, Lynchstock Music Festival and its artists welcomes you with open arms. On the surface, Lynchburg looks like a tiny college town with little to do outside of a cozy coffee shop. But that’s not necessarily the case -- you just have to dig a little deeper. When you start to build relationships and invest in the community, you realize that Lynchburg is full of beautiful souls and a culture you can’t find anywhere else.
This indie pop group traces their roots and a growing loyal fanbase to Lynchburg. I had the privilege of watching part of their set at Lynchstock this year. Seeing aspiring artists bring a fresh energy to a stage warms my heart. Strangers and friends enjoying the same music together, share an experience that creates bridges and bonds that would not exist outside of the music industry. This realization becomes clear as you watch groups of friends dance and sing, losing themselves in the music of their favorite artists like Vacation Manor and COIN.
Lynchstock Music Festival succeeds in bringing this community together, creating bonds between aspiring artists and those who have gone before as well as creating fans that will follow bands from this tiny stage to the blinding lights of Madison Square Garden. No matter where these artists and music fans go, Lynchstock will always be there to welcome them home.
poems by claire torak
K I M P E T R A S
PHOTOS BY ALLISON BARR
an interview with
crimson apple by mallory haynes Hawaii-raised, LA-based girl group, Crimson Apple is making big waves in the pop music scene. Sisters Colby Benson (Lead Vocals, Keys, Key-tar), Shelby Benson (Lead Guitar & Vocals), Carthi Benson (Bass & Vocals), and Faith Benson (Drums) deliver “dark, cinematic pop-alternative” hits. Since relocating to LA to pursue their music careers full-time, Crimson Apple signed with Amuse Group and released single “Can’t Get Out of Bed” along with a music video for the record. As the girls finished up their time on the High School Nation Tour, they took the time to chat with us about their big move to the states, making the switch to a grown-up sound, and their recent success. Hey gals, thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us at Heart Eyes Mag! First off, I am so intrigued by the name Crimson Apple. How was this name inspired? Thank you so much for having us! The name Crimson Apple was inspired by the lyrics to a song called “Wine Red” by The Hush Sound. It was one of our favorite songs to cover when we first began, and we loved the image of the lyrics “Who shot that arrow in your throat, who missed the crimson apple?”.
Not only are you a powerful all-girl pop group - you are a band of sisters. How did the four of you form Crimson Apple? Was it something you always knew you were destined to do? The way we formed Crimson Apple was quite organic. When most people find out we’re sisters, they assume our parents were behind the whole thing and told us what instruments to play, but that wasn’t the case at all. We naturally happened to gravitate toward our individual instruments in our own time. There was a moment when we all looked at each other and thought, ‘Why not form a band together? We have all the pieces!’. The moment we started playing music together, we realized instantly that it was what we were always meant to do. Honestly, when we were kids, we never would have thought we’d form a band and pursue music so ferociously, but now that were in the thick of it, it absolutely feels like our destiny. You recently moved from Hawaii to LA to pursue music full-time. How has this move impacted your relationship as sisters? Since we started the band, and especially with the move to LA, our bond has become closer than ever. Having gone through it all together and really leaning on each other during the move has only made us inseparable. We’re each other’s best friends and inspirations.
In addition to making the big move to the states, Crimson Apple just signed with Amuse Group, the team behind J-pop legends Perfume and BABYMETAL. What has this been like? It’s been so crazy and a dream come true working with Amuse Group. We’ve always been inspired by their artists, but never thought that we’d one day get to work with them! It’s definitely amazing having the support of such a successful company. Tell me about the inspiration behind your newest single, “Can’t Get Out of Bed.” “Can’t Get Out of Bed” is about struggling with depression and trying to explain it to the people in your life who may not understand it. Depression still has this stigma surrounding it that makes it really hard for people to talk about on both ends of the conversation. The song was inspired by our lead singer’s struggle with this issue. It was really with the help of her sisters and through the song that she was able to communicate what she was feeling to the people in her life.
“Can’t Get Out of Bed” shows a definite shift in themes within your music. Will your upcoming releases also reflect this change to a more mature sound? Absolutely! We feel like we’ve grown so much as musicians and as people too. Since moving to Los Angeles, we’ve experienced so much that has really influenced both our musical arrangements and lyrical themes. We’ve definitely opened ourselves up to being more vulnerable in our new music, and we’ve really gravitated towards writing about deeper subjects. Going off of that, how would you describe Crimson Apple’s overall sound to anyone who has not yet listened? We’d describe our sound as a dark, cinematic pop-alternative. Our goal as a band has always been to create music that is not only relatable to our audience, but also sonically cinematic with mainstream elements. We really feel like we’ve gone in this direction with our next release, and we’re excited for everyone to hear it!
You are just finishing up touring the US on the High School Nation tour. How has life on the road been? Which city has been your favorite tour stop? Life on the road has been so fun and adventurous. It honestly has been so cool getting to visit every state, and discovering the little quirks and differences between each place. It really feels like we’re getting to know our country more and more with each state we visit. A highlight of our trip was definitely going to New York. The city has such an energy that we really vibed with. Also, taking the subway was an adventure in itself! So, what’s next for Crimson Apple? Can we expect another single or EP release before the end of 2018? For the rest of 2018, we’ll be working on a lot more music in preparation for our EP release early next year! We can’t wait to show everyone what we’ve been creating!
Who are some of your biggest musical inspirations or influences? We’re really inspired by Twenty One Pilots, Imagine Dragons, Halsey, Taylor Swift, and Paramore!
Iceage Photos by Erin Christie
DAY6 PHOTOS BY SYDNEY KING
AlLie x Allie X tells the narrative of her life on the West Coast through conceptual Mini-Album “Super Sunset” Album Review by Mallory Haynes
lexandra Hughes, better known by her stage name Allie X, continues to bring us insane prouction and stunning lyrics with her third studio album, Super Sunset. This eight-track project narrates the electro-pop artist’s life in LA, which fully began in 2013 after moving from Ontario, Canada to pursue a full-time career as a songwriter. Sonically and lyrically, Allie X has always brought something unique to the table. Super Sunset is no exception. “Super Sunset Intro” eerily sets the tone for the album with its dark, synth-pop elevator music. This introduction fades perfectly into the first track, “Not So Bad in LA,” which describes LA as a seemingly perfect sunny paradise - but with harsh standards for its residents. Opening with, “In a city that lives while its bright stars die / And you start to get old when you turn 25,” it is apparent that Allie is warning us of the difficulties aspiring stars face when moving to the city of angels. “NSBILA” continues the dark synthpop theme with a killer beat and an eerie “la la la la” trailing in the background. Continuing along with conceptual themes, “Little Things” explores Allie trying to understand and become comfortable with herself. “It’s so uncomfortable trying to fit into this skin, yeah / I put my head on my shoulders, try to be someone, yeah,” reiterates that she is trying her hardest despite her inner struggles. The explosive beat and “Death by a thousand cuts,” echoing in the chorus makes this one of the catchiest songs on the album. Next on the album is “Science,” a passionate intergalactic love song that makes you feel like you are cruising through space in a convertible. It’s got a hard hitting beat, synth piano chords and stunning vocals to provide a truly science-y sound. “We just know how / Holding me with tightness / A beautiful alliance,” shows us that the love Allie shares with this person is so bright and perfect, appearing in her life at the most perfect timing. The fourth song on “Super Sunset” is another conceptual pop hit. “Girl of the Year” is basically dialogue of an aspiring pop star addressing a record label. The starlet knows that in the label’s eyes she is irreplaceable and temporary, but expects only the best while she has her moment in the limelight. “Somebody younger, with longer hair / When you want someone clap your hands and she’s there / No expectations and no regrets / I knew what I was in for soon as we met,” explains this concept perfectly; there will always be a newer, younger, prettier pop star coming to take her place in a year, but Allie is totally aware of this. “GOTY” has the perfect mix of glamour, fun and satire, with the addition of heavenly vocals hitting notes that not every pop star can, making it arguably one of the best songs on the album. Following is “Super Sunset Interlude,” which is much like the Intro, but turns slower and darker. “He doesn’t love me anymore,” can be heard faintly, and sets the darker tone for the next track, “Can’t Stop Now.” This song reminds me of a gothic carousel with its eerie synths and echoey vocals, speeding up as the chorus arrives and the beat drops and creepily, progressively coming to a halt at the end. Again, we see themes related to the toxicity of Hollywood with lyrics such as “Made up names clicking in tar / Meal Stars,” suggesting that living in LA has made Allie feel jaded and almost stuck or lost. However, though she may not know where to go, Allie “Can’t Stop Now,” and will continue focusing on succeeding her career. “Super Sunset” closes with “Focus,” a sweet yet apocalyptic love song. Allie uses poetic imagery to explain that throughout all of the horrible things happening in the world, the love she possesses is so strong that it gives her the ability to forget it all and just focus on this person. “And I watch the sunset split in two / And there’s firey skies / But in your eyes they’re blue,” are some of the most romantic lyrics on the entire album. Though the first half of the song is softer, the catchy beat really kicks in at the start of the second verse and continues until the climax of the song. All of music dulls to complete silence as Allie sings, “It all just falls away,” right before the beat kicks back in with full force. The intensity of the beat drop mixed with Allie’s signature “la la la’s” provide a sweet and soft ending to not only “Focus,” but to “Super Sunset” as a whole.
Photos by Sydney King
art by Domonique Jordaan