Former frontwoman of Chicago math rock outfit Tara Terra Emily Blue has added to her arsenal of patriarchy-dismantling sugar pop with her latest single, “Cellophane.” Following the suit of her 2016 solo record, Another Angry Woman, “Cellophane” urges listeners to challenge the way they think about societal norms. Disguised as an irresistibly catchy banger, the song is both a critique of possessive relationship dynamics as well as a reflection on Blue’s habit of preferring fantasy over reality when it comes to love.
“This song is about my tendency to get really excited for the idea of a relationship, then, once I’m in it, realize it’s not the fantasy I built about this person,” says Blue. Blue’s sentiment is relatable to pretty much anyone who has been in a relationship long enough to find out their partner’s flaws, whether it’s leaving a dish in the sink for two weeks or actually enjoying The Big Bang Theory. Once the proverbial new shine has worn away, you can’t help but look back on the golden days when you thought that person was perfect. In Blue’s case, that was before her partner started treating her like a possession – a little more severe than poor taste in television.
“Don’t you wish everything was still like it was back then / When I could call you anything I wanted to, my lover and my friend / And you would not possess me / when you would undress me,” Blue sings in the opening lines of “Cellophane.” Blue explains that the line refers mainly to male/female relationships. “Especially in heterosexual relationships, there’s this sense of ownership over your female partner, and this song is critical of that.”
However, the song’s disquieting subject matter doesn’t stop it from being incredibly danceable. Blue and co-producer Max Perenchio pulled inspiration from the King of Pop himself for the song’s infectious drumbeat and topped it with layers of bubbly synths and Blue’s salient vocals. Following in the steps of female pop transgressors like St. Vincent and F.K.A. Twigs, Blue proves that smart, thought-provoking music and party anthems don’t have to be mutually exclusive.
Although Blue’s upcoming EP is comprised entirely of songs about love and sex, Blue says “some of them are really quirky and almost parodies of types of love songs you would hear. Others are a bit more close to home.” With “Cellophane” as a strong introduction, Blue’s upcoming release is sure to be an arresting addition to the current school of female power pop.
“People think pop is lazy as a genre but it’s a science to me,” says Blue. “I really love flipping the script, because that’s when you come up with something really new and fresh.”
Listen to “Cellophane” below.