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My New Mixtape Reflects on Gun Violence with “Sugar Cereal”

By Charlie Maybee

Alexandria, Virginia based fringe pop musician, Jarrett Nicolay, also known as My New Mixtape, channels his frustration with the recent school shooting in Uvalde, Texas into his new song “Sugar Cereal”. Along with a new music video that features Fred Hof of Most Savage Gentlemen wandering around a giant mall, the song acts as a personal reflection on the deeply entrenched issues of gun violence in the United States.

Mixing elements of pop and rock, this is a song that leans into a more ethereal sound to naturally engage feelings of introspection and reflection. “The second verse, in particular, was written while trying to imagine what it would take to actually illicit any substantial change in policy” Nicolay writes, “The feeling of futility. The video attempts to juxtapose that futility by calling out how we can so easily be distracted by the next shiny thing, thus taking our eye away from what’s important”.

There’s an interesting mixture of opaque imagery with a sort of childlike whimsey to the music video as we see Hof ride around on a small, but brightly colored scooter and dance while walking the wrong way on escalators. And while it doesn’t point out the Uvalde massacre or gun violence by name, there’s something to be said about the challenge of processing such horrible events. Sometimes, the easiest way to cope is by simply living fully, which is what My New Mixtape seems to be pointing towards with these visuals.

“Sugar Cereal” is available on major streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music. The accompanying music video is also available on YouTube. Find this and more great music on the Alchemical Records Multigenre Mixture playlist on Spotify and YouTube.

Charlie Maybee

Charlie Maybee is a dancer, musician, educator, and writer based in Winchester, Virginia who currently teaches in the Dance Division of the Shenandoah Conservatory. 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. He also currently fronts local hard rock band, The Aftershakes, and releases music as a solo artist under the name Nox Eterna.

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