You wanna know what makes me weary/ What makes my eyes all teary/What went wrong /I’ve got so many songs

Uma Bloo’s latest release “Never Know Me” is a dark, unsettled song about the ways in which we look, and don’t see, one another. The four minute track is fiercely furious. It’s infused with throaty vocals, building drums, and victorious guitar riffs, creating an effect that feels nearly manic–like the burst of energy you get right before finishing a long race. The song feels like an energy drink after a sleepless night, like squealing wheels on cracked pavement, like hunger and anger and triumph. “Never Know Me” is a taste of the indie band’s forthcoming album, Don’t Drive Into the Smoke. The album is due for release on March 23, 2022.

But when I speak you just watch my mouth move/Wonder what else it might do/You’ll never know me/You’ll never know me

“Never Know Me” seems, at its core, to be concerned with the implications and shortcomings of “sight.” What does it mean, to be looked at without being seen? I’m sure you’ve been there. You’re on a date, or giving a presentation, or making small talk with someone in line at the coffee shop, and their eyes glaze over. Best case, they’re distracted and off their conversational game. Worst case, they’re sexualizing the hell out of you. Not cool. Uma Bloo’s song details this frustrating experience with raw, gritty vocals and appropriately angry lyrics. “Do you see how that’s insulting?” vocalist Molly Madden sings. “Look me in the eyes/Tell me/Do you understand?” Madden’s vocals are emphasized by an unyielding, chaotic soundscape that adds to the feeling of being constrained.

You wanna make it better/Wanna make me feel good/You wanna make it better/Wanna make me feel good?

 “Never Know Me” isn’t just a song about being unseen, but about being mis-seen. It’s a song about the contortion of both emotional and physical qualities. This is visceral in the song’s album cover, where a person stands with both hands around their throat, their face distorted with a sheen-like mask. But in many ways, this is also a song about loneliness — about the skin-crawling isolation that comes from being constantly sexualized. “Never Know Me” thus advocates for the rejection of insincere attention. After an earth shattering bridge of slamming vocals, dissonant brass, and cramped drums, Madden sings in a triumphant conclusion:  “I am so happy that you’ll never have me.” 

Uma Bloo’s “Never Know Me” is a headstrong, fiery track that sets the tone for the band’s forthcoming album Don’t Drive Into the Smoke. It’s a reminder to see those around you, and to practice seeing yourself.