Newsflash! In the unlikely event you read Cub Music frequently and don’t know about Baby Queen, here’s a truth for you; in my evidently exceptional opinion, Baby Queen is the most exciting thing happening in ‘pop’ music right now. Seemingly feeling this wasn’t evident enough from past singles ‘Internet Religion’ and ‘Buzzkilll’ (reviewed here and here respectively), she’s only gone and dropped another single – which from the title of this article you may have guessed is called ‘Medicine’.
You couldn’t mistake this for anyone else. The opening lines may be subdued compared to the aforementioned releases but by now everything that makes Baby Queen’s music what it is already stands out from the first few seconds. Show me a more apathetic yet addictively relatable tone, capable of conveying that exact shade of disillusioned young person. Mix that with fabulously witty lyrics and a matching tone, and you’re in for the perfect piece of potentially somewhat depressing pop perfection.
Lyrically, old themes appear again –
“I’ve got friends online and they know me better than I know myself”
pulling us back to the socially aware previous singles. Overall, ‘Medicine’ is more inwards focused. It aims at a more personal issue, rather than openly generational (though as I’ve said about a billion times by now, it is something lots of us probably relate to). The tone of general personal miasma is probably best summed up as the track moves into the final chorus –
It’s a sad state of affairs, but I mean look at what we have to look forwards to the outside of enjoying fresh new tunes.
Of course, the meaning of this song goes beyond just these issues and is more personally related to Baby Queen’s personal experience of using antidepressants. As this is a topic I don’t have any experience with personally, I’ll let her do the talking:
The instrumentation makes a more marked change from previous releases. The synth lines are more subdued and square-wavey, bubbling along constantly but never excitingly. You could call it uninspired; I would use the word thematic. When percussion eventually enters the bridge, it’s similarly minimalist, keeping the beat and little more. Through later verses, we hear additions of more atmospheric synths and cymbals, and the percussion in the choruses at times builds to a near-claustrophobic cacophony. To my delight, the middle eight brings in a spot of the electric guitar that always seems to sneak in and spice up Baby Queen tracks.
As always, the attention to the small details is impeccable. The choruses are fantastic anyway, but the use of the opening and closing of a pill bottle as a percussive instrument really stands out and elevates the track to a higher plane of excellence. The use of vocal underdubs to transition between sections is back again too, with the frankly hilarious deadpan “Yay, this is my favourite part” bringing us from verse to chorus.
As I’m writing at half-past-midnight immediately after ‘Medicine’ has been released, the video isn’t out and I can’t talk about it. I have generously embedded it above though, so form your own opinions on it or something. I’m off to keep on playing this on repeat.