Thursday, March 28th, 2019

Ravenna Golden ft. Dorian Electra – Open My Eyes

I can see through time…


Joshua Minsoo Kim: Vaporous melodies surrounded by bare bones Charli XCX/PC Music-isms. What makes “Open My Eyes” interesting is that it’s catchy in the moment but immediately forgettable upon completion. It’s as fleeting as the dreams you try to remember upon waking up. “Open my eyes and you’re gone” proves a fitting lyric.

Ian Mathers: This needs to be either way more or way less distorted. I’m leaning towards “way more”. As it stands, it’s in an uncanny valley.

Alfred Soto: Great care went into assembling distortion around a sliver of a melody.

Iris Xie: Sounds like a compressed algorithm for “Purity Ring radio.” There’s a moment of poignancy with the prechorus: “Waking up from a dream that I had / I can hear your voice in my head,” where the instrumentals sound like fluorescent rock candy shattered by a soft hammer. The outro wheezes its way out, with the vocals getting increasingly higher and the synths simultaneously skittering and the bass wavering. I’m not convinced that she really wakes up at the end of the song, but the atmosphere feels like she is orbiting in the glitches, right before returning to reality.

Ashley Bardhan: This definitely feels like a PC Music baby, or maybe cousin. I first heard Dorian Electra on Charli XCX’s Pop 2, which was executive produced by A.G. Cook, PC Music’s dad/label head. “Open My Eyes” fits right into that experimental, underground, Soundcloud pop narrative, but I just question how experimental that is anymore. This song features growling, wobbly bass, lots of metallic anti-drops, and almost unintelligible vocals slathered in autotune. So does every Charli XCX song. And lots of SOPHIE songs. And many Let’s Eat Grandma songs. This is the first Ravenna Golden song I’ve heard, but it doesn’t feel like that. At this point, “experimental pop” is really just pop. Read that last sentence in your head with vocoder on it, please. 

Joshua Copperman: “Open My Eyes” is closer to the Chainsmokers than PC Music. I’m currently working on a project where I find all the good moments in albums considered ‘bad’ (somewhat inspired by the channel CinemaWins), and this would have been the best song on Sick Boy, if not quite that different. PC is not inherently edgy anymore, but that means the bubblegum electronica is easier to enjoy without the baggage. It’s not that different from “Starving,” “The Middle,” or even Grey’s new single “Want You Back” – if the production credits were “Grey with additional prod. by Sophie Xeon,” I would believe it. Instead, they’re from Charli XCX co-conspirator umru, which is all too fitting. XCX and PC Music are always dubbed the future of pop, but the future has caught up with that aesthetic. What I’m trying to say is, there is little difference between the Chainsmokers’ newer music and the PC Music sound except for the Chainsmokers’ frequent attempts at Meaning Something, so the slight melancholy tinges of “Open My Eyes” only fill in the gap between the former ‘future’ and the present.

Will Rivitz: The ceaseless yammering about PC Music’s attitude towards pop music has always been utterly futile, but that yammering’s dying down from its keening fever pitch half a decade ago. It’s the best thing that could have happened to a collective of artists whose quality of output has always been inversely proportional to the number of Resident Advisor comments and Vice profiles published concurrently. Case in point: the present day, maybe three or so years after the Internet collectively stopped giving as much of a shit about whether the label’s Charli XCX collaborations were tongue-in-cheek or not, where PC-associated artists’ recent output has consisted not just of their own best work but the best music over that timespan, no qualifiers required. Even ignoring Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-insides, Charli XCX’s A.G. Cook-produced “No Angel” is the best song of 2018, period; EASYFUN has made three unassailably perfect songs since last May, particularly the deity on Earth that is “Be Your USA”; and Kim Petras’ SOPHIE-produced “1,2,3 dayz up” is regrettably part of a select group of maybe five songs that render all other music irrelevant. And all that still ignores umru, the association’s most consistently transcendental producer since the beginning of last year, SOPHIE included. If I were to give each track umru has made its proper due, I would receive a citation from the blogosphere police for quintuple-parking in the space I’m allotted, so I’ll save my gushing for “Open My Eyes,” created in tandem with the two singers at the top of this post and co-produced with Dylan Brady. umru’s brilliance hinges on an emphatic affirmation of PC Music’s post-blagoblag stylistic focus: as opposed to the label’s earlier pop deconstructions of ~i r o n i c a l l y~ and ~s a r c a s t i c a l l y~ making music that ostensibly aimed to be terrible but ended up sounding pretty fucking great, his pop deconstructions are literal, pouring acid over a radio single until everything but the most essential bits are eaten away and even those most essential bits are irrevocably corroded. His music, and “Open My Eyes” specifically, is a sunrise after a club night that’s gone on far too long, ears ringing and eyes adjusting to the light and sobriety not due for another few hours. It’s appropriate that he’s chosen Ravenna Golden and Dorian Electra to helm the ship he’s built, too: the should-be-popstars are the rulers of a relentlessly inventive avant-cheese pop realm built around improving on the fundamental tenets of Our Lady the XCX, particularly in their use of Auto-Tune so breathtakingly violent that it puts all other Auto-Tune to shame. They both sound genuinely inhuman here, infusing the production with even more of the bittersweet emptiness of the underpopulated nightlife district at 5 in the morning. Hell, the song doesn’t just evoke bittersweet emptiness: it is bittersweetly empty in and of itself, the nonchalance of the opening “Well, I guess it’s morning again” echoing across its chorus’ desolate bedroom and thereby echoing its instrumental accompaniment. “Open My Eyes” is, in form, content, aesthetic, and everything else, a piece of art that strikes at the heart of such a vast array of emotions so incisively that I almost physically feel pain in my chest; it is a “big mood” such that every other object or moment or vibe that’s ever been labeled “big mood” is retroactively an affront. Excuse me while I pay my parking ticket.

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One Response to “Ravenna Golden ft. Dorian Electra – Open My Eyes”

  1. nod to the lisa simpson reference

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