Updated: May 10, 2021
Today's songs are "Cold Blood" by Junior Varsity, "Hell Yeah" by Mob Rich, and "Let It All Go" by Francis of Delirium.
“Cold Blood” - Junior Varsity
In August 2019, Greg Atman and his best friend Zach Michel announced their musical debut, Junior Varsity, and earlier this month they finally released their first single. The duo hadn’t released any music in nearly one and a half years of being around, yet they had impressively gained a lot of popularity and attention using only clips of their songs posted to Instagram, as well as Jackass-esque teasers/stunts and a series of secret pop-up shows. Junior Varsity has refreshingly and thankfully proven there’s more than one way to make it big in music. In a 2019 interview with Complex, Atman talked more what led them to this approach of building an ethos before officially releasing music. He said, “To be an artist, drop a song, and then build a career off a single is just really singular and has been done the same way forever…I think people are really fiending for an experience. Physical energy is being undermined right now and there hasn’t been an antihero in a long time to provoke that out of people and disrupt the industry the way that we’re unintentionally doing it.” Considering how isolated the world is feeling after having lived through a pandemic for over a year now, this yearning for physical experience is much more relevant now than it was then—which is probably why their first single, “Cold Blood,” places such heavy emphasis on corporeality. But brace yourselves, it’s not all hugs and kisses. Atman raps about being shot, choked, and tased all in one verse. The track is absolute punk-pop anthem, complete with casually delivered rap verses juxtaposed a growled chorus. Junior Varsity wants their listeners to walk away feeling something. They have definitely succeeded with their very first single. Check out “Cold Blood” here.
“Hell Yeah” - Mob Rich
Although this next alt-pop duo, Mob Rich, has taken a more traditional approach to gaining momentum through EP’s and cover songs, they’ve also created a very solid following with equally anthemic music. They've made themselves easily approachable with buoyant beats and melodies, unforgettable lyrics, and emotional subjects. Mob Rich is getting ready to release their debut album on May 14th, titled Why No Why—named to poke fun at their name change (formerly Moby Rich) and to reflect the existential conversations that inspired this album’s songs. The balance between playfulness and sincerity is also written into their new single, “Hell Yeah,” which will be featured on the album. Members Maxwell Joseph and Connor Pledger explain, “‘Hell Yeah’ is a song of anticipation and anxiety. Waiting for your crush to call or come over. How that person can always be floating around your head even when you sleep. It’s about the process of someone slowly becoming the thing that you rely on and how they in a lot of ways become your ‘home.’ But it’s all jam packed in a really fun and quirky sonic space.” The video is equally quirky and fun to watch. Keep an ear out for the album and enjoy “Hell Yeah” until then.
“Let It All Go” - Francis of Delirium
One more duo for you that has me shook: Francis of Delirium. Members Jana Bahrich and Chris Hewett released their second EP earlier this month titled Wading. There’s quite an age difference between the two (Bahrich met Hewett playing instruments with his kids), the two connected over a love of Nirvana and Pearl Jam. This influence adds a 90’s grunge element to their music. Beside Bahrich’s lyricism, voice, and delivery ground each song in a modern, Lucy Dacus way, their music is both nostalgic and new to listen to. There’s only four tracks on the EP, yet every single one is worth playing on repeat. One track, “Let It All Go” culminates their ability to balance soft, composed, harmonious moments against all-out, anxiety-driven crescendos. Bahrich shares the track is a followup of a song off their first EP called “Quit Fucking Around.” She explains, "The first EP is supposed to be this journey out of negative cyclical thoughts. At the end I’m singing ‘quit fucking around’ and I’m saying that as a motivation for myself to change. But that kind of talk is not helpful at all. It’s only through reflection or reflecting on stuff in that song or in my own thought process that you can make those steps forward.” The claymation video for the track is also shot and directed by Bahrich, and although kinda creepy, it gives a very intentional, visual space for the song to exist in. Francis of Delirium is hopeful they will be able to tour this fall. Let’s just pray they make it stateside sometime soon. Listen to “Let It All Go” now.