Listen OUT: "Joga Bunda," "Can’t Kill Me" and more

by Jex Druerie
Music Critic

Aretuza Lovi, Pabllo Vittar, Gloria Groove: Joga Bunda

Just because summer is still months away doesn’t mean you can’t warm right up with this new Portuguese ass-shaker. The three Brazilian drag queens, including the massively popular Pabllo Vittar, collaborate to bring the heat with a staccato beat and sickening verses.

Lovi opens the show and raps about a boss bitch who isn’t afraid to show out in front of everyone. The title literally translates to “play butt,” or perhaps “throw butt” (from jogar, to play or throw). The implication being she isn’t afraid to “throw her ass around.”

Next up is Vittar, showcasing her stellar countertenor. Major Lazer’s favorite queen is in fine form here, and I kept wanting more. But, even if you find yourself pining for more Pabllo, Gloria Groove comes right in with a hard-hitting rap that’s a strong close to the solos.

Be sure to check out their sickening video as well.

Phem: Can’t Kill Me

On phem’s new 3-track EP, the queer indie darling tackles her experience coming to terms with her own sexuality. She sings “I think I’m an alien, I don’t know who I am, some days I love my women, some days I say hey what’s up man” on the lead single, “blinders.”

“dont giv up on me yet” implores those – or perhaps one particular special person – who’ve been with her since the start to keep the faith just a little while longer, as she delivers a smooth and cutting vocal over a repetitive beat.

“gimme the wall” closes the (too-short) set, with dreamy synth and rattling percussion, as phem plays wallflower, observing all around her and ruminating on everything.

The only flaw with this set is it leaves the listener famished for more.

Sopor Aeternus & The Ensemble Of Shadows: The Spiral Sacrifice

For those seeking more esoteric musical offerings, I highly recommend the new album by Sopor Aeternus & The Ensemble Of Shadows, the project of Frankfurt-based trans artist, Anna-Varney Cantodea.

The music is typical Sopor Aeternus, comprised of dulcimers, harpsichords, wind, and string instruments and the occasional sparse percussion. The result is lush, romantic, gothic, medieval and dark; as we’ve come to expect from Anna-Varney. There are more instrumental pieces than in her previous work, but even without her haunting vocals (reminiscent of Patti Smith and Siouxsie), they manage to both haunt and delight the listener.

The songs on TSS deal with the usual themes in AVC’s work – namely; pain, isolation, depression and desperation, as our gothic goddess laments on the depths and horrors of the human heart and psyche. The vocals are at times sparse but always delivered with Cantodea’s trademark tormented vocals. Not for the faint of heart and definitely worth the listen.

SSION: At Least the Sky Is Blue ft. Ariel Pink

Queer indie darling-turned music video auteur Cody Critcheloe, aka SSION, is back with the follow up to last year’s infectious Comeback.

A more understated affair than the aforementioned single, ALTSIB is a dreamy slice of mid-tempo pop featuring the talents of multi-instrumentalist/singer-songwriter Ariel Pink, and is the second single from SSION’s highly-anticipated new album, due later this year.

The track recalls the saccharine sounds of Empire of the Sun’s more low-key output and is a perfect springtime track to prime you for the inevitable album of new material, titled O, his first in seven years.

With lyrics about Diet Coke and ketamine, SSION’s infectious purr mends seamlessly with Pink’s falsetto on the track, and provides a wiggling, warped cool down from the dance-floor ready Comeback. On the strength of these two tracks, listeners will no doubt eagerly be awaiting the release of new SSION material.

The Gayly. April 6, 2018. 9:39 a.m. CST.