When listening to A.N.J.A.’s new song “Monoxide,” you can’t help but picture the desert. More specifically, you can’t help but picture driving through the desert. More specifically than that, you can’t help but picture a femme fatale driving through the desert, probably wearing enormous sunglasses and casually driving off after burying an angry man who had it coming. You can practically see the open convertible, cherry red and streaking down the highway with sand pluming behind the wheels. You can nearly taste the dry, razing heat. And of course, you can hear the rough, wild adrenaline in the song itself–both dark and sweet, a wickedness dipped in sugar, made just for you.
My pretty/You don’t have anything that interests me
Released last week, A.N.J.A.’s new track shimmers with nostalgia. The artist has long been a fan of surf rock, and that influence is clear as she channels a dark, fuzzy sound into “Monoxide.” The song is driven by a relentless, roaring guitar riff punctuated by machine-gun piano strikes. The background is decidedly angsty, offset by A.N.J.A. ‘s crooning vocals. As A.N.J.A. slips into her higher vocal register, her voice sounds like the punk rock version of Lana Del Rey–smooth, rippling, and ethereal. The combination of A.N.J.A.’s sugary voice and the rough, driving soundscape creates a deadly effect.
Let me get my ammunition/I’ll make you look delicious
Lyrically, the song follows a woman who lures men into murderous traps. You get the sense that the speaker is on a hunt of sorts, and when she picks her victim, she is like a cat playing with her food. The track seems to work as a subversive nod to the media culture of “true crime,” flipping the script so that the woman, in this case, has mortal power over the helpless men around her. The lyrics drip with confidence: “Run and hide/I’ll make you feel alive.” The crashing sonic background only adds to that overwhelming sense of power.
When you’re out in the night/ Run and hide
A.N.J.A.’s new track “Monoxide” is both energizing and uneasy, sensual and frightening. It draws from and contributes to a distinctly feminine power, while paying tribute to a deeply feminine history of violence. The song’s heavy, nostalgic sound is the perfect backdrop for A.N.J.A. ‘s syrup-sweet vocals. I would recommend listening to it with your eyes closed, imagining a badass driveaway scene in the desert. Or, even better, I would recommend actually driving on the highway with your windows down, preferably wearing an enormous pair of sunglasses, and pretending you are the femme fatal. Within reason, of course. We don’t want any murders, no matter how awesome the song is.