Illuminati Hotties' 'Let Me Do One More' Is the One We've Been Waiting For
Published Oct 04, 2021Last year's FREE I.H mixtape was subtitled This Is Not the One You've Been Waiting For. The latest album from Illuminati Hotties, on the other hand, is the one you've been waiting for: a pristine stunner, as songwriter-producer Sarah Tudzin goes for broke on 12 songs of impeccably crafted pop hooks, hyperactive crescendos and graceful comedowns.
Let Me Do One More has been in the works for a few years, and was largely written before FREE I.H (and before the pandemic). The songwriting here is more streamlined than the frenzied, bitesized blasts of FREE I.H, although it's not necessarily more sedate. Just hear "MMMOOOAAAAAYAYA," in which Tudzin warps her rubbery voice like she's Nicki Minaj in "Monster," going from cutesy humming to sneering shouts and, at one point, cackling with evil-villain laughter.
But more often that not, Tudzin displays songwriting smarts rather than unhinged energy. Opener "Pool Hopping" is a twee pop ditty with summery lyrics about melty ice cream and "peanut butter mouth," but its lyrics about sneaking into swimming pools are actually a metaphor for rebound hookups during a breakup: "Dipping a toe into the deep end / Obtusely waving at a new friend / They said the water's warm / But I'm not sure if you and I are over, over, over." Whispered ballad "Protector" captures the fragile calm of Big Thief — while a song featuring Big Thief member Buck Meek, "u v v p," is a twangy '50s/'60s pop throwback. "Kickflip" features Tudzin's most gut-busting yells and a skronky guitar freekout, but only after two simmering verses to build the tension.
Let Me Do One More is the first album on Snack Shack Tracks, the Hopeless Records imprint Tudzin started following the label drama that birthed FREE I.H. As her own boss, she doesn't need to request "let me do one more" to anyone but herself — and across these 12 tracks, she quite literally owns every aspect of her sound. (Snack Shack Tracks)