Leave it to my favorite electro-pop duo to release a dance track contemplating the turmoil of running the rat race that challenges the suffocation of creative freedom by means of societal survival. Valley Hush debuted “Iced Cream” earlier this week, a mesmeric track that encapsulates Alex Kaye and Lianna Vanicelli’s fluid aesthetic of dancing the line between struggle and release with an undeniable melancholic pop magnetism. Although there is no mention of the beloved confectionery treat, the songs message is the equivalent to the sticky sweetness of a melted cone between your fingers; a life that is satisfying but not without the perpetual stickiness to make you wish you had a napkin, or rather, make you wish you didn’t care about the mess. Following the same sensational trajectory of their last single “Iris”, “Iced Cream” picks up with the similar jutting, well-traveled mash-up of worldly tones and beats but this time delves deeper into self-induced sadness.
The most marveling element of “Iced Cream” is the marriage between lyrics and Vanicelli’s vocals. Opening with the line “I’m a human being/not a machine/I will eventually tire/of this silly maze” we are lead through a poetic display of personal disappointments and misappropriated life goals: how it feels vs. how it should feel. Vanicelli insinuates traditional accomplishments (“a college degree/a job with a salary”) act as life altering barriers between exploring the truer parts of self and feeling successful; an internal melting and re-freezing, only to melt again. These vulnerable truths through airy and choppy vocals feel like a privately shared secret discovery, though not confessional or dangerous. Valley Hush invites us to share a spoon and indulge in their existential crisis sundae that wakes our inner demons with a sensual tenderness that is usually reserved for licking our fingers clean, as not to leave a trail of sweet cream behind.