From barely bothering blogs in the spring of 2020, to releasing one of the year’s most anticipated EPs, Baby Queen has already had one hell of a year.
Occasionally an artist comes along at the perfect time. With upbeat pop bangers about living vicariously online, generational anxiety and a general internal sense of doom; the Covid-19 pandemic has pathed a kind of serendipitous red carpet for Baby Queen’s arrival.
Medicine EP opens with 23 year old Bella Latham’s debut single ‘Internet Religion’. Retrospectively, the track plays as the perfect introduction to Baby Queen’s world; observing, explaining and – crucially- confessing her own role in a generation’s relationship with the online world.
Traditionally, the most important songwriters document their own experiences and place in the world around them – and finally Gen Z have an articulate spokesperson for their own reality.
Track two, ‘Pretty Girl Lie’, is a variation on a theme, honing in on the pressure for girls to produce attractive content for their social media feeds. “I get more likes when I don’t look like me”, Latham states before launching into a gigantic pop chorus.
As tracklist progresses, shiny studio vocals make way for a more distorted, jagged delivery. ‘Want Me’ allows its verses to role with minimal frills, which concedes for the chorus to shine in all of its repetitive glory. Throw in a slow-build bridge which reaches a rousing crescendo, and you have a track that perfectly ushers in part two of the 6-track EP.
‘Buzzkill’ sees Baby Queen commentating upon the internal battle between sinking into her own depression and putting on a façade for the sake of social interaction. Once you look past the clear suggestions of Taylor Swift and Lorde, this is as much an angsty grunge track as it is a pop outing, with lines like “I’m disillusioned by the world and I am filled with apathy” landing through distorted vocals.
The speech delivery persists as we reach the EP’s title track. With a sound that’s more reminiscent of alternative artists such as Superorganism, ‘Medicine’ plays as an ode to Latham’s medication. Most releases with this kind of chart-worthy mass appeal are dedicated to emphasising emotion to a pantomime level of inflation; whereas ‘Medicine’ is about numbing the more undesirable feelings just to make it through the day.
EP closer ‘Online Dating’ is the frank anthem that Tinder has been lacking. The track calls out dating apps as the lazy fantasy of romance that they have become for a whole class of people, young and old alike. These closing songs offer the listener a little respite from one huge chorus after another, giving the release a real tone of depth and variety.
Like all good pop releases, Medicine EP is the face of something more than pop. Baby Queen plays the role of whistle-blower on the world of online glamour; creating solid bangers for the anxiety generation.
Don’t be fooled by the major label sticker, this is chameleon pop with something to say. And, with choruses that could hold their own in any chart battle, self-loathing has never been so catchy.
Baby Queen’s Medicine EP is available to download and purchase now.