Vapid. Annoying. Saccharine. Just some of the descriptors that people who hate pop music use to describe pop music. While the umbrella of pop music is admittedly rather large, it’s usually the branch of it that is hyper produced, danceable tracks sang by a pretty girl that really seems to irk the more “serious” music lover. Fuck those people. It’s been proven time and time again that the most sugary pop confection can be fun AND actually say something. Take Bella Latham AKA Baby Queen. The 23 year old Londoner has been dropping some super catchy and thoughtful singles since her debut EP. Medicine, was announced earlier this year.
The EP is six wonderfully crafted gems that showcase Latham’s talent in juxtaposing some truly serious subject matter while wrapping the proceedings in the shiniest of bows. After being thrown into a life of fashion parties and Instagram influencers after moving to London from South Africa, Latham started to hate the phoniness of this world and she says,”I started to write bitterly about the world that I had perceived whilst being here in London, and the way that it had changed me, and the narcissist I had become.” She started to write songs about these experiences that became Medicine. Ranging from topics such as body dysmorphia to excessive drug use both recreationally and medically. Latham tackles these subjects with keen observation, deadpan humour and an insight well beyond her years.
The EP kicks off with “Internet Relationship” and it’s bright, technicolour groove. Reminiscent of Sky Ferreira, the song is an absolute blast and puts on blast how people are able to craft, often phoney internet personas for themselves. Lyrically it’s a real treat with verses like; “Let me show you all the best parts of my life/My clothes and my phone and the gap in my thighs/My friends own things you can’t buy/But all of them are broke and most of them want to die/I’m done saving the world so take a look at these/Cool shoes; take a look at me me me!/Look at all of the places that I’ve been (I’ve been in hell)”. “Pretty Girl Lie” bops out of the gate on a smooth synth bass and Lantham’s ear worm of a vocal melody. She keeps the theme of fake internet personas going with lyrics in the pre chorus, “I get more likes when I don’t look like me/“Well, fuck my life”. It’s not only calling out people for being phoney but also how it affects others that see what these people put online and despair about never being able to be as “good” as they hoped they can one day be. Plus, the bridge is an all timer, front to back hook machine. “Want Me” is a hyper pop disco hit that explodes into a soaring chorus. “Buzzkill” is vaguely “Loser”-esque Beck, with a lazy break beat and a lethargic rapped verse that segues into a big ol sing along chorus.
Medicine is a lot of fun and contains a ton of depth that most wouldn’t discover without giving it a proper listen. Latham is a true talent to watch for. As a songwriter, she is able to take some serious themes and spin them into absolute pop gold in the most conversational way. Some may hear Medicine and say it’s “Vapid”, “Annoying” and “Saccharine” but again, fuck those people because they are wrong. Baby Queen is the future of pop music and the future, not only, sounds great but has a lot to say and we should all definitely be paying attention.
pre-order Medicine by Queen Baby here