in Review

illuminati hotties – Kiss Yr Frenemies

Upon first listen, this album had a fair amount working against it. The first being that its title (and the band’s name) seem almost like a parody of what boomers assume millennial-speak sounds like. Then you listen to them, and they sound a bit like the kind of precious cutesiness that Gen-Xers probably think millennials turned indie rock into. Which I don’t think is necessarily wrong, but also doesn’t get at how funny, candid, and catchy this album is.

I also was probably a bit hesitant to like this album because it reminded me of Frankie Cosmos, who released an album from this year that I liked just fine, but haven’t thought much about since the Spring. But Sarah Tudzin (the main singer/songwriter behind this project), is clearly on her own anxious wavelength, and doesn’t seem afraid to manifest that anxiousness in a variety of ways. These songs will go from soft and contemplative to loud and angsty in an instant, but always have this overarching feeling of helplessness in the wake of modern young adulthood.

Which perhaps gets at the millennial-ness I was talking about earlier. Though I don’t see this ability to tap into the trials and tribulations of your ’20s at all as a bad thing. In fact, quite the opposite. And the fact that Tudzin worked as a studio engineer for a lot of artists before finally deciding to release her own solo album also adds to this – the idea of having a day-gig while your dream project waits in the wings. Only with her, the two seem to have coalesced into a project featuring all kinds of sonic highs and lows, but while also capturing a new voice with plenty to say.

Favorite Tracks:(You’re Better) Than Ever“, “Paying Off Happiness“, “Patience