LISTEN: Natalie and the Monarchy – ‘Envy the Villain’

A lavish reflection on the emotional toll a dual identity can take on your wellbeing, Liverpool-based American born artist Natalie and the Monarchy has shared her latest single ‘Envy the Villain’. Inspired by her own experiences as a professional dominatrix, the track is a “dark cabaret” of Natalie’s thoughts about her own struggles, with a riot grrrl, grunge-infused twist.

“The song’s title is referring to the self-destructive behaviour I experienced when taking on the role of ‘Mistress Veronica’ as a professional dominatrix,” Natalie explains. “It’s about wanting to be that confident and intimidating character 24/7 and the identity struggle that a lot of sex-workers have between the fantasy and the real world.” Marking her first release since her 2019 EP Pretty little Flower, ‘Envy the Villain’ is a playful dissection of the self, as well as a personal take on what it means to conceal, or reveal your true identity in a world that tries to “other” the experiences of women and of female sex workers.

The track is accompanied by a video, shot and edited by Jenn Cliff-Wilcocks and Richard Garland, which shows Natalie contrasting her “weaker, submissive” side against the devilish flair of Mistress Veronica, who is personified as a devil in latex leisurely eating cake.

Watch the video for ‘Envy The Villain’ below.

Follow Natalie and the Monarchy on bandcamp, Spotify, Twitter, Instagram & Facebook

Kate Crudgington

Track Of The Day: Bait Bag – ‘The Pattern’

A lo-fi, woozy tune about star signs, destiny and finding joy in the unknown, Maine-based trio Bait Bag have shared their latest single ‘The Pattern’. Released on 26th March to coincide with the appearance of the Worm Moon – which is thought to mark the arrival of spring – the track is “a little wink and a nod” to those who find comfort in the power of the cosmos.

Formed in the summer of 2018 by North Haven Island-based pals Fiona Robins, Claire Donnelly and Courtney Naliboff, Bait Bag are inspired by the sounds of Sleater-Kinney, Blondie and Le Tigre. Driven by a collective desire to escape the constant flow of bad news, the band blend playful lyrics with raucous, dancing beats to create bright moments of catharsis, but on their new single ‘The Pattern’, they’ve taken a leap into psychedelic territory. 

“Whether you start your day with Chani Nichols, or can’t tell a Pisces from a pescatarian, this song provides a fun dance break and the opportunity to tell yourself, ‘I’m fine’ (even if you aren’t)” the band explain about the track. Full of wah-guitar, farfisa and soft layered vocals, ‘The Pattern’ is a buoyant trip through astrology and a charming distraction for those who would rather let these thoughts float over their head.

Listen to ‘The Pattern’ below.


Follow Bait Bag on bandcampSpotifyFacebookTwitter & Instagram

Kate Crudgington

LISTEN: Bad Waitress – ‘Too Many Bad Habits’

A raucous, anthemic guitar tune designed to shake the angel and the devil off of your exhausted shoulders, Toronto-based punk band Bad Waitress have shared their latest single ‘Too Many Bad Habits’. Released via Royal Mountain Records, the track is a “working class battle cry” against the relentless frustrations of everyday life.

Formed of Kali, Katelyn, Moon, and Nicole, Bad Waitress create riotous, inclusive punk tunes for listeners to rage and rock out too. Formerly known as The Nude Dogs, under their new moniker the band have shared an EP titled Party bangers: Volume 1, and they’re gearing up to release their first full length album later this year. Their blend of heavy riffs and satirical, cathartic lyrics scorch the ears with a righteous fury, and new single ‘Too Many Bad Habits’ is no exception.

“Bad habits, we all have them and the guilt surrounding them eats us up,” the band explain about the track. “This song is a cathartic expression of the frustration that emerges from constantly teetering on the edge. It’s screaming into the faces of the devil and angel whispering in your ear.”

Watch the video for ‘Too Many Bad Habits’ below.

Follow Bad Waitress on bandcamp, Spotify, Twitter, Instagram & Facebook

Photo credit: Calm Elliott- Armstrong

Kate Crudgington

Track Of The Day: Gender Chores – ‘Night In The Woods’

Having shared stages with the likes of Problem Patterns, Strange New Places and Sister Ghost, Belfast’s Gender Chores first blasted into our ears with the seething energy of 2019’s Womansplain. With songs defending reproductive rights, resisting the patriarchy and documenting the human cost of late-stage capitalism, they’re a true, riot grrrl-inspired DIY force to be reckoned with, and so we were super excited to hear that they’ve shared a brand new track.

A slice of fast-paced punk-pop, and inspired by a video game of the same name, ‘Night In The Woods’ reflects on slum landlords and the high costs of living in the city, despite continually decreasing low living conditions. Propelled by racing beats and fuzzy uptempo riffs, the gritty, refreshingly honest lyricism subtly rages with raw, conversational vocals: “I can’t afford the rent, and I really miss my pets” – a sentiment that is all-too relatable as someone who spent eight years renting in London.

As the track builds with a swirling, playful energy, it ends on an immense whirring cacophony – a scuzzy sonic storm, reminiscent of both a distorted video game and the frenzied state of reality right now. ‘Night In The Woods’ is a raging punk anthem, truly of our times; despite being coated in a buoyant, quirky charm, it’s no less powerful in its explicit enraged message.

Of the track, singer and bassist Sam explains:

I think there’s a collective fury at the looming gentrification of Belfast. There’s outrage at the fact that it costs so much to live where we want to live.” 

Night In The Woods‘ is out now and was written and recorded with artist development program Scratch My Progress.

Mari Lane