Heartbreak and the Journey to Recovery Can Be Pretty Traumatic.
Melo claws her way to freedom.
A lot of life can be lived in three years. For grunge-pop singer Alexa Melo, that means plenty of love and heartbreak nearly tearing her limb from limb. With her first single in the same amount of time, a grim and greasy mid-tempo called "Dope Sick," in which she plots a pilgrimage through past memories, Melo claws her way out of the muck to reclaim her life. "Baby boy, you know I'm gonna survive," she promises on the opening lyric, stained with minimalist production, a rather ghoulish beginning. "But what's the point / I'd acquire a taste for a different kind of hurt."
Melo's misery hangs on her tongue, and as she goes for a mid-afternoon drive down the highway, tears flow down and flush her porcelain cheeks. Flashes of the past, cherished moments, mostly, come in and out of view, almost in a boozy haze. "Baby, I don't want these withdraw symptoms to subside," she later concedes, "because that means I've learned to live without you." The beat drops, and her voice cuts even deeper. "Dope Sick" is solo produced by Melo. Daniel Garcia helms the accompanying visual, premiering today.
Alexa Melo, MUTE EP cover art
On the song, she explains to Popdust, detailing quite a tragic past, "I grew up around substance abuse, and in my breakup I noticed similarities in addictive, masochistic behavior. It's about almost dreading the day the withdrawal ends because even though it sucks, the healing will officially signify that you are truly alone again."
The music video (watch above) ⎯⎯ strewn with needle-point and macabre-bent footage, reaching a climax when Melo admits herself to a rehab facility, where she dons a straight jacket ⎯⎯ cruelly displays what pain and recovery can feel like. It's a penetrating sequence of events, and Melo's performance is chilling. "Making the video was not easy," says Melo. Daniel and I were the only two people on the crew. With such a small budget, we had to trespass, pull favors, and work our asses off. It was intense to reenact the pain of what the song was written about. Still, making this video was some of the most fun I've ever had making art."
"Dope Sick" samples Melo's forthcoming new EP, Mute, is coming out October 12
POP⚡DUST | Read More…
Breaking down the bias of comfort films.
With the constant onslaught of complicated news that 2020 has brought, sometimes you just want to be able to shut off your brain, relax, and feel happy.
Enter comfort films. These are the feel-good movies that feel like a warm hug when you finish them, the ones that allow you to escape for a short while. We often turn to these types of films in times of trouble or extreme stress, and when we're not sure what films of this nature we should watch, we turn to the Internet for options.
25 years ago, pop stars and rappers were were expected to stay in their respective lanes. But Mariah Carey proved that hip-hop and pop were a match made in heaven—changing popular music as we know it.
Hip-Hop is pop—not in sound, but rather in terms of influence and authority.
Certainly pure pop—pasteurized and whipped into its ultimate peak in the early 2010s—is still breathing, though despite its name, the genre's reign as the chieftain of popular music has ended.
Drake and Bad Bunny are as much of pop stars in 2020 as Carly Rae Jepsen and Kesha were in 2012. Spotify reports that, at this very moment, Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion's "WAP" is the most-streamed song in the United States. Immediately following that is trap-pop cut "Mood," a TikTok-famous summer bop by 24kGoldn and Iann Dior, two of many rising zoomer rappers who have embraced Hip-Hop's guidance in most melodic forms, like trap-pop, emo rap, alternative hip-hop, and pop-rap. And if that's not enough to give Hip-Hop a throne, Nielsen Music has confirmed that eight of the top 10 artists of 2020 so far are, of course, rappers.