Irish soul-pop artist Pop Wallace releases his fifth single of the year, a passionate collab with synth-pop artist and vocalist Boyfrens. They’re eager to share the story of their meeting – with Pop leaving the skeleton of a track unfinished before finding his collaborator in a beat battle on the internet.
Their single Out Sick is a blend of emotionally-charged pop and contemporary R&B, bleeding into dream-pop style psyechedelic synths that haunt the length of the track. Featuring the soundtrack of trance-y loops like Bonobo’s Kerala, Pop sings a heartfelt melody about the disconnect between self and self-worth. His verses are about losing control, aware of the self-destructive behavior that he’s participating in but unable to change. Unable to handle his impulses to self sabotage, he sings the tragic I know I’ve done this to myself / always picking from the bottom shelf. Boyfrens’ verses are even more self-critical, an analysis of being abusive to oneself.
This song speaks to you if you’ve ever been an addict, watching helplessly as you tore your sense of self apart. Pop similarly addresses the song to mental health and coping in Ireland, towards a culture that is still learning its relationship with intoxicants. Deep-cutting and melancholy, the song does quite an incredible job of transcribing that guilt and self-loathing that is usually shamefully addressed, if at all.
It’s a melancholy release, but I think it is anthemic to some struggles that we almost resent to discuss, as well as a lovely dreampop catharsis in getting that stuff out there and accepting who you are, and just calling out sick. Just give it a try, its a lovely experience crafted by the upcoming pop powerhouse that is Pop Wallace.
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