By Charlie Maybee
Swedish indie pop rockers, Casper Brodin and Victor Hillbom (otherwise known as Casper The Ghost), are back with a melancholy jam “Cool Kids” which contemplates troublesome social hierarchies and their effects on mental health.
As one of the leading singles off their EP Holding on for dear life, it displays the album’s central theme of perseverance in the face of hardship. In this case, we see the band reflecting on their youth as kids who didn’t stand out. “I used to be nobody back in high school / a ghost nobody killed” Brodin sings in the pre-chorus, “I’m blaming my own attitude / I’d be jumping from any altitude to show the ghost is real”.
Combining nostalgia with the attitude of “lessons learned” there is positivity that seeps from the song’s core. This experience of feeling invisible may have been challenging, but it is a past moment that held more weight when it was current. From this vantage point, it becomes an empowering self-reflection that revels in the distance that has been traveled in the band’s mental state since leaving those social expectations behind.
Musically, the positivity manifests in every note despite the lyric’s sad demeanor. With a pulsing drum beat and laidback guitars, there is a lot to love about this chill jam in the way it refuses to wallow in self-pity. There’s a sense of looking back while moving forward and a constant reminder that time changes our view of moments past.
“Cool Kids” and Holding on for dear life are both available on major streaming platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube. Find this and more great music on the Alchemical Records Multigenre Mixture playlist on Spotify.
Charlie Maybee is a dancer, musician, educator, and writer based in Charleston, South Carolina who currently teaches with the Dance Program at the College of Charleston. His primary work as an artist is with his performing collective, Polymath Performance Project, through which he makes interdisciplinary performance art that centers tap dance as the primary medium of expression and research. He also currently plays rhythm guitar for the Charleston-based punk band, Anergy, and releases music as a solo artist under the name Nox Eterna.
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As the leader of nineties pop rockers 4 Non Blondes Linda Perry broke down barriers in the male dominates music business and created one of the decade’s most catchy songs: “What’s Up?” Perry released one stellar album with the band before going out on her own.
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