We’ve been fans of Alex Cohen’s rock band Alex Napping, but we’re just now learning about her more pop-minded project, Pema. You can stream the project’s 2016 debut, Doublethink, through Bandcamp. The next one, Bad Habit, will find her joining forces with Topshelf Records.
Today we’re premiering its lead single and an accompanying video. The track is woozy trip-hop ballad called “Depend.” In its self-directed black-and-white video, Cohen attempts to eat an entire raw onion. The experience is as horrendous as it sounds, and for anyone with an empathetic bone in their body, it’s a little hard to stomach. But less for the sake of vanity and more for realizing the source of what causes us pain, Cohen endures it. In doing so, she creates a pretty fair visual link to the song’s theme:
I once went down a YouTube wormhole of watching people filming themselves eating raw onions and was struck by how vulnerable I felt that this experience made the people in the video appear. It’s such a strange and awful thing to willingly subject yourself to. This sort of self-inflicted misery, I thought, paired nicely with the themes of “Depend” — a song about harmful, yet voluntary emotional dependency. It has been my experience as a woman, and I think many others, that I have been conditioned my entire life to believe that I needed the adoration and strength of men to be fulfilled, even when it’s a source of pain and making me absolutely miserable.
Check it out below where you’ll find her point proven and whether or not she makes it to the last bite.
Bad Habit comes out 5/18 via Topshelf Records. Pre-order it here.