Wussy’s new song “Cake” is inspired by a ’90s graphic novel series about a mutant STI that causes grotesque deformities in teens, manifesting the anxieties of adolescence into mutant distortions. The story, Black Hole by Charles Burns, is a pretty accurate reflection of the new direction the Cincinnati five-piece are headed on their seventh forthcoming LP, What Heaven Is Like. Once known for their rootsy, alt-folk sound, Wussy are beginning to break into sludgier, grittier territory in light of the depressing, post-apocalyptic political climate; I don’t blame them.
“Cake” spirals through ’90s grunge and touches on ’70s psych and garage rock before diverging into their arresting chorus: “It’s not the type of picture/ That you would ever want to take/ These aren’t the kinds of colors/ That you would want them on your cake.” On “Cake,” Wussy captures the spooky energy of campy sci-fi comics, while adding their own touch of hearty harmonies.
In a recent interview with Billboard, vocalist Lisa Walker spoke some more about the track’s backstory:
This was the point where I thought, “Well, let’s have more than one sound about Black Hole because that’s rich with ideas and it wouldn’t have to be be directly tied to it. In my head I was setting it in the deep South, or one of the characters escaping, that being part of their route. I don’t know if you’ve ever been in a tour van going over Lake Pontchatrain, but it just feels like you’re going to die. I felt like that because you’re just several feet over water. There’s no solid ground, you know there are alligators in there and snakes the size of your arm. Just death water.
Check out the song below and see if you can get a sense of what death water feels like.
What Heaven Is Like is out 5/18 on Shake It (US) and Damnably (UK). Pre-order it here.