Photo: Corey McLean
This summer, every festival lineup and radio station will inevitably feature the same predictable artists. That’s a Bop is our month-long effort to introduce you to artists and songs beyond the top-ten list.
There’s a specific type of pop song they play during SoulCycle or Barre class or cardio dance. It usually comes in that moment when the instructor says, “One more hill! Turn the knob three turns to the right!” or “One more set of imperceptible yet blindingly painful pelvic tucks!” This type of song is meant to imbue the listener with inspiration and energy and a rush of endorphins. It feels so good, and you can’t wait to feel like that again, so you automatically hold your phone up in the air, Shazam it, and add it your Exercise Endorphins! or Feelin’ Good Feeling Great! playlist.
“Break My Heart,” by pop-punkish L.A. band Hey Violet, is one of those songs. It’s an effortlessly fun, deliciously inane song that ticks all the boxes. The mostly female (there are two token boys) band is huge on YouTube. Nineteen-year-old lead singer, Rena Lovelis, wears all the Asos trends at once, sighs dramatically about disappointing fuckboys, and in general is a human version of a Livejournal. The vibe is “Paramore meets the frothiest, poppiest, Top 40–iest sounds in 2017”: a little bit of rock, a little bit of EDM lite, a lot of “I’m the only chick at Warped Tour” empowerment.
At this point in pop, when Katy Perry’s Witness is both complicated by woke politics and just sort of bad, and everyone has exhausted their favorite Carly Rae Jepsen albums, and Haim is “They’re fine”-ing us into lethargy, Hey Violet offers purity. Is it good pop? Bad pop? Age-inappropriate-if-you’re-older-than-20 pop? Who cares? This song is like taking an MDMA-spiked Red Bull to the dome.
The band’s debut album, From the Outside, is out today.