Single Reviews - 3 November 2022 - Hope Whitelock, Bnny, pinkpirate

Photo by Aishah Rahman

Hope Whitelock - Kafkaesque 

indie rock 

Franz Kafka's philosophical fiction is at once so surreal and hopeless that it was easier to coin the term "Kafkaesque" than to expect others to understand the mystically nightmarish quality of a given situation. Just imagine being turned into a bug and nobody caring ("The Metamorphosis (1915)" and you'll have a good idea of the meaning. "Kafkaesque" is also the title of a recent single by Hope Whitlock, a Boulder, USA-based songwriter whose indie rock sound is familiar and trendy but not unoriginal. The originality and true core lie in the lyricism, where Whitlock flips between being hilariously nihilistic and admirably absurdist. Whitelock seems like a fun person to have a coffee with, someone who, like me, hates the world as much as themselves but uses their nihilistic tendencies as a point of pride and self-identity, not only admitting shortcomings but displaying them openly as a sign of protest. ("I'm a bad person, and I'm not trying to fix it"

Bnny - Breaking Up

folk rock

Bnny is a musical project led by Jess Viscius alongside her twin sister Alexa Viscius. Their new single, "Breaking Up", is an immediately likeable merging of emo folk with more sweeping and restrained passages of pop and jazz. Yet the voice here is the cracker, all close and personal, delivering some memorably simple lyrics ("Sometimes I feel Okay / But I'm telling you now / I miss you today"). Perhaps even more memorable is the drum sound, which has an unassumingly potent punch. Although the song's theme is a trope of the suffering of heartache and the regret of failed relationships, there's a sincerity in the delivery that makes the sentiment ultimately relatable, though thematic considerations are beside the point on a track that sounds this good. 

pinkpirate - I Still Feel Down 

electro pop

Bognor Regis native Caitlin Brown has been involved in music from the age of seven when she picked up a trumpet which was eventually swapped for a guitar. These early musical explorations have developed into an inclination for melodically driven pop rhythms imbued with attitude. There's a marvellous middle 8th on her recent single "I Still Feel Down", with distorted guitar tones and arpeggiated synths hinting at a desire to go beyond enjoyable pop accessibility. Though the chorus can take some getting used to, by the third time 'round, the melody clicks and the song hooks when it's stripped to its essence. From the EP "i don't want to grow up boring."