Mannequin Pussy – “Romantic”

Romantic. It sounds like such an antiquated word, feels like an old-fashioned concept from a different time. What does a romantic even look like in this day and age? Who could be naïve enough to place that much value in the idea of fresh love? Haven’t we all been exposed to enough heartbreak, heard about enough relationship trauma that we should know better? Except, no, we keep on falling for the same old tricks and repeating the same old story. “I get along with everyone I meet/ I’m so sweet,” Marisa Dabice opens the title track from Mannequin Pussy’s sophomore album with a coy smile. “You would sleep with me if you could do it comfortably/ You’re so sweet,” she mirrors in the next verse, twisting the knife as the music death drops into a noisy climax. “Everyone here looks just like everyone else,” she observes, and I picture Dabice in the middle of some crowded bar, suffocating in the heat and sweat as she wails out, “I’m in hell.” She’s suffering through her own personal heartbreak, but the way it’s tied to the preceding phrase makes it feel like a universal heartbreak, like everyone’s just carrying around their own ghosts of lovers past. Romantic, right? Listen via NPR below, and check out the album’s equally excellent lead single “Emotional High.”

Romantic is out 10/28 via Tiny Engines. Pre-order it here.