Dirty Nice
‘My Dead End Self’

Synthwave duo Dirty Nice have dropped their new single, ‘My Dead End Self,’ an insanely catchy bit of sugary pop.  Back in my hardcore punk days, I used to get teased endlessly by my roommates and bandmates for the fact I liked a bit of melody in my music.  That love of melody leads to my secret love of sugary pop, going back to the Beach Boys (‘Good Vibrations,’ I would argue, is the perfect pop song).

Charlie Pelling and Mark Thompson, who comprised Dirty Nice, are an artistic lot, influenced by 21st century internet culture and vaporwave aesthetic (an obscure type of electronic music for the uninitiated), combined with the early 20th century avant-garde movements in the art world.  They report this is borne of the surrealism of both their early 20th and early 21st century influences, themselves both borne of a sense of unease with a rapidly changing world.

But. Lyrically, ‘My Dead End Self’ isn’t nearly as lofty. No, ma’am.  In fact, Pelling reports that

Not long ago, before these quarantine times, I was walking down the high street quite listlessly. I was gently overcome by a feeling of relief and simple joy. Something in the stimuli, a cocktail of unexpected sunshine, city bustle, and a dash of day dreaming that had lifted a hidden weight.  Then I wrote this song.  The point is, I think, that walks are very nice aren’t they?  So pop this song on an go for a walk…responsibly, of course.

And this is reflected in the opening lyrics of the track, which begins with a processed guitar and a beat, nothing more, recalling early 90s Beck, especially with the various sounds that start to appear after the beat kicks in.  Pelling sings

Yeah the air is cold
But the Sun is warm
And it hit the buildings
And the tops of the cars
And all the birds took off at once
Into the clear sky
And for the first time in a month
I think I had a clear mind.

Along with the obvious synth-wave influences, and Beck, I also hear the Beta Band in Dirty Nice’s aesthetic.  Whatevs, man.  This is good stuff.