Published Jul 12, 2017New Jersey/New York band Candy Hearts used a blend of pop punk and emo to convey Mariel Loveland's songs, and even released music with Bridge 9 imprint Violently Happy Records. For new album Ice Cream Anti Social, the band have changed names to Best Ex and changed their sound to include more synth-pop influences.
"Girlfriend," sung from the perspective of a girl who wants a guy to cheat on his girlfriend with her, could be interpreted a number of ways: To some, it could be read as an assertion of female agency, desire and subjectivity they might find empowering; to others, it could come off as a childish (the song is admittedly from Loveland's high-school life) example of the hetero-normative home-wrecker/temptress cliché, which some might find boring or unrelatable at best. The interpretation rests with how much a listener identifies with Loveland's protagonist, but all the lyrics offer about her is "we both like brand new shiny toys," and "I don't really care about your girlfriend"; if you don't find yourself in those lines, you might side more with the latter interpretation.
"Lonely Life" is a better example of the relatability of these songs, as Loveland finds ways to allude to her cat, her laptop and her cellphone while expressing her anxiety and existential angst. On "February 4th," settings for heartache include a "sleepy English coast" and "baggage claim." Some might find all these admissions of privilege distracting; others still might see themselves exactly portrayed in Loveland's lyrics.
Relatability aside, though, the hooky songwriting and poppy production are well suited to Loveland's sugary sweet voice. If Carly Rae Jepson is supposed to be an influence, Loveland might do well to remember that CRJ's music is sunshine for everyone. (Alcopop!)