BAUM's "alternative" style isn't easy to puzzle out.
In an attempt to force a semblance of order on the perpetually mutating organism that is today's music, music journalists like myself craft some fairly absurd, contradictory phrases, like "indie-pop" or "alt-pop." But in truth, this L.A.-based artist's oeuvre might be best defined by the content of her lyrics rather than any pop elements in her music's composition: Her songs stridently explore issues of gender politics, identity, and self-actualization.
For an example of BAUM's work, look no further than the elegantly titled "Fuckboy," which opens Curve, her second EP after 2018's Ungodly. The song's gorgeous music video begins with the artist bathed in the warm light of several candles and leaning her head against a pane of frosted glass. She softly croons about the maddening difficulty of navigating a relationship while maintaining a sense of individual identity. Cut to a man and a woman, their limbs intertwined in a frenetic dance in front of a large tapestry print of Botticelli's "Primavera." Over the course of the video, the dancers become more and more detached from each other, even as they're joined by BAUM herself.
The video is kinetic enough to raise a completely sedentary viewer's heart rate, and the song is so winningly, earnestly upbeat that one is tempted to ignore the music's essentially rote character—more than a single, this is a celebration of self-fulfillment and self-definition.
BAUM - Fuckboy youtu.be
Matt Fink lives and works in Brooklyn. Go to organgrind.com for more of his work.
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