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Review: “Afterthot” by Wade in the Sonic Joy

Wade in the Sonic Joy Nonbinary Sexspells Afterthot Music

Houston-based nonbinary artist and musician, Wade in the Sonic Joy, released the single, “Afterthot”, from their forthcoming album Sexspells last week.

(HOUSTON) — For anyone familiar with musician and About Magazine writer Wade in the Sonic Joy, it’s easy to say one thing for certain about the nonbinary artist: they are nothing if not outside the box; and Wade’s lead single from their forthcoming album, Sexspells, is equally in line with their aesthetic. The music video dropped last week and certainly emphasizes not only the artist’s musical abilities, but their visually artistic ones, as well.

The song opens with white noise that slowly blends into a deep voice repeating, “That ho over there.” This, of course, is the acronym referenced in the title — a “THOT”. As it continues, Wade begins by singing directly to the person — or, the THOT — that the narrative is spun from. “You play with our emotions / and act like it’s a game,” this is clearly not someone that Narrating Wade is fond of as they sing their song. Likely the song is spun about a former love interest, but knowing Wade, a song like this could be about any person anywhere, from an ex-partner to the sitting president, (“You’re talking with that big head …”). But Wade wastes no time in letting whomever they are singing to or about know that they are nothing more than “… just that ho over there …”.

Lyrically, the song feels fresh because it incorporates what is rather new slang to describe the person about whom the song was written. But more to that point, it’s lyrically very playful — taking something like ‘fire’ or ‘THOT’ from modern slang and spinning into the fun ‘AFTERTHOT’. This alone puts a fun touch on the song by stating that whomever this song is being sung to, they’re aren’t just that ho over there, they’re that ho over there that’s not important enough to be a ‘FORETHOT’ (see what I did there?). Musically, the song has a fun, new wave sound that blends Wade’s smooth, flowing, and unique vocals with the electronic synthesis popular in the late 70s and early 80s. It’s that cocktail of past sound with present language that gives Wade their uniqueness, but also their bold, fearless, exciting aberrance. The video, as well is quite a spectacle — with new wave tones written all over it from beginning to end. As is never in question, Wade is a visual artist just as much as they are a musical artist. From beginning to end the popstar dances in and out of frame, with split-screen side-by-sides of themselves weaving in and out of one another. Cuts of explosive fire in vivid neon color and Wade running their tongue over a long, pink object that is a bit hard to identify again only add character to not just the song itself, but to Wade in the Sonic Joy as an artist.

Wade in the Sonic Joy is a singer-songwriter, producer, visual artist, model, and journalist who currently resides in Houston, Texas. However, Wade’s official website states that they are officially from Fortuna Tessera, Venus. It goes on to say that “Wade would like to push the boundaries of gender, love, and expression through art, visuals, and sound. The purpose of this project is to turn joyous dreams into sonic reality.” The song is certain to caught in your head at the most inappropriate times — I, for one, cannot stop singing “that ho over there” on a loop in my head whenever I see one of the men I’ve slept with across the room. It’s fun and intriguing, but it’s also a fuck you to anyone that ever thought they could maintain a foundation of importance in your life after screwing you over.

Wade in the Sonic Joy keeps surprising fans and audiences with everything that they’re doing, and it doesn’t seem like that is going to change anytime soon. The complete album, entitled Sexspells, will be released December 20th.

Check out the video here:

Follow Wade in the Sonic Joy

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REVIEW: St. Lucia at Canton Hall in Dallas

Dallas St. Lucia Music Canton Hall

A review of the St. Lucia concert at Canton Hall in Dallas, featuring new music from their latest album Hyperion.

(DALLAS) — On Friday, October 26th, 2018, About Magazine was given the opportunity to see the musician/musical project St. Lucia live in Dallas, TX at Canton Music Hall in the artsy Deep Ellum neighborhood. Let me begin by saying that, even as a person who works in country music, St. Lucia is one of my favorite bands. Led by frontman Jean-Philip Grobler, the modern take on 80s synthpop music first came into my life a few years ago while dining in Houston when I overheard one of their songs being played. After just that first song, I knew I had to learn more about who was making this music and immediately Shazam-ed the tune, which spiraled me into the magical, musical world of St. Lucia.

DSC_4428 REVIEW: St. Lucia at Canton Hall in Dallas
Photo by Anthony Ramirez

Seeing St. Lucia onstage for the second time in my life was nothing short of an indulgence I’d been craving like a glass of wine after a long work week. I first saw St. Lucia live in 2016 at White Oak Music Hall in Houston — where I found myself nothing short of starstruck and impressed beyond measure — but seeing them for the second time at Canton Hall was just as unbelievable, if not more so. Comparably, St. Lucia’s onstage presence was not only a total makeover improvement from the first time I’d seen them — and that’s a makeover from a show I already thought to be great — but simply immaculate not only in sound, but also in aesthetic. Every song was synchronized in lighting and sound to pulsate to the rhythm and the visual manifest of each song, while aberrant, was perfectly fitting. This alone really highlighted just what perfectionists St. Lucia is comprised of.

Jean-Philip’s stage presence only added another delicious layer to the aesthetic and music, as it was evident that he — as well as bandmates Ross Clark, Nick Paul, Dustin Kaufman, and Patti Beranek — are completely impassioned by the music that they’re making. It’s that passion that bewitches the audience, keeping them on their feet, jumping up and down, and shouting song lyrics at the tops of their lungs. And the music, believe it or not, only gets better and better from St. Lucia. Over the course of three albums — the most recent of which entitled Hyperion — St. Lucia isn’t just singing songs into microphones or pressing down the ivories of a keyboard. In fact, what St. Lucia is doing with their music is something far more incredible, as each new album and down to every single song tells a story that keen listeners can visualize as a map or storyboard of who they are. By taking this storyboard and rearranging its chronology in such a perfect way, the band weaves together music old and new to tell that story in a fresh, new way that both old fans and newcomers can enjoy without forsaking the crisp, clean sound they’ve worked so hard to create.

DSC_4665 REVIEW: St. Lucia at Canton Hall in Dallas
Photo by Anthony Ramirez.

What was truly impressive to me were the faces I saw around Canton Hall. St. Lucia’s fanbase is nothing if not diverse, with fans of all ages, sexual orientations, gender identifications, skin colors, and more bound together by their music and enjoying themselves the entire time. Moreover, the hall was packed out. While St. Lucia may still be fairly new on the music scene and not quite as well known as some more mainstream, pop musicians, they certainly had no trouble getting people in the doors and keeping them there from the beginning until after the very end. Their interaction with those fans — as well as with one another — really shows how much the band loves doing what they do, but more so shows their own camaraderie within their own little family. It is evident just by watching them laugh, smile, and hug one another on the stage that the entire band has a deep affection for one another that cannot be feigned or forced. That camaraderie bleeds into the passion that they have for their music, which can be hard for synthpop bands. Nevertheless, it shows what a great time they’re having making music that is appealing to people from every walk of life.

Follow St. Lucia

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Spotify

Buy the New Album, Hyperion

DSC_4660 REVIEW: St. Lucia at Canton Hall in Dallas
Photo by Anthony Ramirez.

 

DSC_4491 REVIEW: St. Lucia at Canton Hall in Dallas
Al Farb sings along to St. Lucia. Photo by Anthony Ramirez.
DSC_4506 REVIEW: St. Lucia at Canton Hall in Dallas
Photo by Anthony Ramirez.
DSC_4615 REVIEW: St. Lucia at Canton Hall in Dallas
Photo by Anthony Ramirez.
DSC_4681 REVIEW: St. Lucia at Canton Hall in Dallas
Photo by Anthony Ramirez

REVIEW: Carly Rae Jepsen’s New Single “Party for One”

Carly Rae Jepsen Music Single Party for One Review

Die-hard Carly Rae Jepsen fan, Christopher Tyer, reviews Jepsen’s new single, “Party for One”, which leads off the forthcoming release of her currently untitled and unannounced 2019 album.

After months of rumors and speculation, Carly Rae Jepsen finally confirmed her new single, “Party for One”, on Tuesday, October 30th. A few hours after her initial teaser photo was posted, it was announced that it would be released two days later on November 1st 2018; and the Carly Rae Gays took to social media to rejoice! Over the next twenty-four hours, Carly released four teaser videos with the final footage revealing that “Party for One” would be released in 12 hours. And, with that, the clocks started ticking (mine included)!

Screen-Shot-2018-11-01-at-4.50.13-PM REVIEW: Carly Rae Jepsen's New Single "Party for One"Soon enough, Carly Rae Jepsen graced the world with “Party for One” at 8:00 AM CST on Thursday, November 1st, 2018.

The first verse of the song finds Carly Rae Jepsen in a situation to which we can all relate. She’s just realized that someone who she thought was right for her isn’t reciprocating her feelings. Everyone’s had that moment — the one where you fall head-over-heels for someone and suddenly they just stop making any effort with you whatsoever. In those moments, you’re left wondering what you did wrong and why you weren’t good enough for them instead of realizing that maybe they’re just not a good person or, at the very least, that they’re not good for you. The next couple of days — or maybe even weeks — you keep telling yourself to let them go and to get over them but as much as you keep trying you just can’t stop dwelling on what they’ve done to you.

At the top of the first chorus, the instrumentation all but drops out. During the first verse there was a steady crescendo, but when we get to what is arguably the strongest lyrical moment in the song “Party for one. / If you don’t care about me, / I’ll just dance by myself, / back on my beat” the instrumentation is significantly lighter. It’s that moment in your life where you’re saying “I’m a strong, independent woman who don’t need no man” … except that you don’t really believe this just yet. By the second time that she’s singing the chorus the drums and bass are reintroduced; and now you’re starting to believe that you actually are strong and independent. But you’re still not convinced you don’t need a man in your life.

The second verse is that part of your life after the breakup where you’re still blaming yourself and wondering why you weren’t good enough. It’s a short verse (poetic, really, as this should be a short period of greiving in your life before you move on to realize that YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH) where Jepsen’s asking herself all of the questions we ask ourselves. Was he only with me because nobody else would give him the time of day? Did I just convince myself that everything was going great? Did he ever really love me? Why can’t I get over this even though I keep trying?

Carly-Rae-Gay1 REVIEW: Carly Rae Jepsen's New Single "Party for One"
How the gays began to feel when they heard the good news. Photo taken from Joey Contreras on Instagram.

The foundation of the bridge is that moment when you finally believe what you’ve been telling yourself the entire time: that you are strong and you are independent and that you don’t need this man. Jepsen repeats “back on my beat” throughout while layering in “’cause you don’t care about me” and “party for one.” It’s when you’ve finally come out of the other end and you realize that you’re better off without him and you’re finally able to start relinquishing that control that you were allowing that person to have over you.

When we get to the final chorus, the drums become super syncopated and accent every word that Jepsen is singing. Finally, this chorus that has been building in power comes to this strong, energetic climax and Jepsen finds conviction while singing in lieu of the contemplation that was once present in its place.

Hours after its release on streaming platforms, Carly Rae Jepsen released one of the most queer music videos of 2018. The video features queer people of color, a glass butt plug, a double-sided dildo, and Mark Kanemura (who became famous for his videos dancing to Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Cut to the Feeling” last summer) looking like an absolute SNACC!

Regardless of your feelings about Carly Rae Jepsen, it takes a wonderful songwriter to capture so many emotions and the entirety of what can feel like such a long and perilous journey in a way to which people can relate. Unrequited love is one of the worst feelings in the world — while also being one of the most common — but “Party for One” is the uplifting track that we need to remind ourselves that what’s more important than being loved by another is loving yourself enough to keep going when you’re not.

In a year where some of our favorite pop stars (most notably Robyn) have steered away from making pop bangers, this is a breath of fresh air — a quiet respite and reprieve — and I’m excited to see how Carly Rae Jepsen follows up 2015’s forever iconic E-MO-TION with her forthcoming 2019 album.

Were-About-It-1 REVIEW: Carly Rae Jepsen's New Single "Party for One"

Carly Rae Jepsen Releases “Party for One” Today

Carly Rae Jepsen Music Single Party for One Song

Jepsen Set To Perform On The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon November 5th

Multi-platinum Grammy, Juno and Polaris Prize nominated singer/songwriter Carly Rae Jepsen releases new song “Party For One” today, November 1, on 604/School Boy/Interscope Records.  The track was co-written by Jepsen and produced by Captain Cuts and HIGHTOWER.  “Party For One” is available now at all digital retailers and will appear on Jepsen’s forthcoming album which is set for release in 2019.

The video for “Party For One” was shot in New York City and directed by Bardia Zeinali. Watch the clip HERE.  Jepsen will perform “Party For One” on the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on November 5th (NBC, 11:35/10:35pm c).

Says Jepsen of her new song, “To me ‘Party For One’ is an anthem of what it is to celebrate time with yourself, which is a hard thing for people to really enjoy sometimes, and it’s something I’m learning to do more and more.  This song represents a lot of what this album is about for me which is romantic love but self-love too.”

Jepsen’s 2015 album E*MO*TION, earned a host of rave reviews with several outlets – including TIME, Entertainment Weekly, Pitchfork, People, Stereogum, Vulture, Complex, and Noisey- declaring it the pop album of 2015. The set featured the platinum selling single “I Really Like You.”  One year later Jepsen released E*MO*TION Side B as a gift to her fans and saw it immediately rise to the iTunes Top 10 . E*MO*TION followed the release of Jepsen’s U.S. debut album Kiss featuring the blockbuster break-out hit “Call Me Maybe” which climbed to #1 on the iTunes Singles charts in over 47 countries, has sold over 20 million singles worldwide and is certified Diamond in the United States.  It earned Jepsen 2012 Grammy nominations for Best Pop Solo Performance and Song of the Year.

image004-1 Carly Rae Jepsen Releases "Party for One" Today

Jepsen landed the lead role in the 2014 Broadway production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella and later starred as the iconic Pink Lady, “Frenchy,” in FOX’s four-time EMMY award winning musical GREASE: LIVE.  Most recently Jepsen voiced the character of Odette in the animated movie “LEAP!”.  “LEAP!” featured Jepsen’s song “Cut To The Feeling” which has been hailed by critics as a top song of 2017 showing up on year end “Best Of” lists for Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, Billboard, Noisey and more.

Download/Stream Party For One