Utilizing the sound palette of a triumphant synth pop song, Dilettante gives its single “Monster” an emotional and conceptual depth it might not otherwise possess if it sounded dire and intense. In the music video we see a woman running down streets at a brisk pace looking as if she is running from a situation and never looking back. The lyrics tell us a story of a person who is choosing not to answer the call of a former partner knowing that person is strong and that she is weak. In the song we hear a line that is both eerie and carries with it a sense of relief and pity in “Now you found something else to play with.” She knows what’s in store for that thing, that group or that person and it’s bleak at best. The chorus swimming in bright and uplifting synth melodies and hopeful vocals describes a spirit of speaking one’s truth and psychologically breaking free of the grip of a dominant person who is so toxic there is nothing possible but a clean break with no thought of maintaining a friendship: “Baby you’re a monster and I don’t forgive you.” Tonally it’s reminiscent of more recent Lower Dens combined with Bonnie Tyler and the video like a modern day noir short of Run Lola Run but with the aim of escaping with one’s soul intact. Watch the video for “Monster” on YouTube and follow Dilettante on Spotify.
If Bonnie Tyler had a current career as a writer and director of science fiction movies you’d hope she’d tap the likes of Child Seat to do music for her various films. The “Burning” single and its music video festooned with imagery of interstellar objects while Madeleine Matthews dances and sings in the foreground with wind sweeping through her feathered hair as Josiah Mazzaschi unleashes fiery and tasty guitar licks with an all but stoic calm. It’s a personal dynamic not unlike that of Sparks with Russel Mael delivering the physical melodrama in the performance while his brother Ron in his own quasi-stoic way helps to orchestrate the music that gives the vocals their context. Toward the end of the video Jeff Schroeder comes into view with a guitar solo worthy of Joe Satriani or Steve Stevens circa 1986 and seals the aesthetic. But the energy of the song doesn’t feel throwback, it feels very present and visceral. Watch the video for “Burning” on YouTube, follow Child Seat on Instagram and look out for Child Seat’s debut album out in Fall 2022.