Saturday, December 25th, 2021


We close Readers Week and 2021 with a submission from Claire which sounds like how we felt. Please look after yourself and we will see you next year.


Alfred Soto: There are more nuances to John Lydon’s ages-old “Anger is an energy” than were dreamt of in his philosophy.

Al Varela: Backxwash and Ada Rook are an incredible combo who make magic every time they collab together, and “I LIE HER BURIED IN MY RINGS AND MY DRESSES” is both artists at their best. Just the way Ada Rook howls with such guttural intensity is enough to quake the room, especially with the production blasting away like an explosion blowing radiation right at your face. Backxwash herself also delivers two of her best ever verses, feeling the weight of every shitty thing in the world collapse toward her as her voice gets more and more frail and scared. This whole song is a suffocating nightmare you can’t wake up from, and it’s one of the most terrifying, yet enthralling songs I’ve ever heard. Especially at the very last chorus, where the bass crashes so hard it distorts the song for a brief moment. Bone-chilling.

Ian Mathers: I’m sorry, but here as in Quiplash, sometimes when I see a prompt or hear a song my very first thought sometimes just demands I put it down pretty much as is (it’s practically intrusive), even though it usually doesn’t capture the nuances etc. So, basically: Kanye circa Yeezus fucking wishes he could.

Juana Giaimo: Having never heard of them before, you couldn’t imagine my surprised face when Ada Rook’s vocals started. There is an audience for this music, but definitely not me. I always rejected this kind of music, it sounds silly to me and I know that’s not the aim of the song, but I guess it kind of scares me and makes me feel attacked. And especially after such a long year, that is not what I’m looking for. 

Claire Davidson: The grainy, industrial blips of the song’s opening seconds sputter with fracturing anxiety, and from there, the title track of Backxwash’s 2021 opus unleashes with a fury so visceral as to become corrosive, as the grinding trudge of the beat accompanies the song’s desperate, bruised anger that is at once conflicted between survival and surrender. Backxwash raps with both the wisdom of a prophet and the despair to recognize that she is only a weary observer, penning a righteous elegy for the ghastly horrors that have been inflicted upon colonized peoples and their diasporas, and the spectacle of death she witnesses in the wake of this history. It is Ada Rook’s hook that allows the song to truly coalesce, her snarled wailing shrieked with such panic as to create the impression that very capacity to scream is tearing her apart, the disgust underlying her pronunciation of the word “abomination” gnashing with a feral sense of dread that the song’s verses further illuminate. By the end of her last few lines, Backxwash envisions herself as someone for whom only the devil could find sympathy, an offer she’d accept if only for the escape it would provide from a world that can only name her death, a eulogy she delivers as her accompanying guitars roil with simmering power — a purgatory envisioned with an appropriately harrowing soundtrack. 

Katherine St Asaph: Primordial maximalism.

Edward Okulicz: There is anger in music that makes me feel intimidated, some that makes me feel anger in turn and sometimes there is anger that is viscerally thrilling and empowering. This is all three at once. The raw bone on bone collision within the musical elements, the vocals, and their combination is not fun but it’s an experience. Play it once even if it’s not sounding like your taste. 

Nortey Dowuona: Someone left their modem on, gonna check that fir-Wait. Wait. Actually, i should maybe cut my grass instead. Backxwash got this repair in hand.

Reader average: [6.8] (5 votes)

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3 Responses to “Backxwash ft. Ada Rook – I LIE HERE BURIED WITH MY RINGS AND MY DRESSES”

  1. @Ian, I’m not suggesting a TSJ Quiplash over the holidays, but I’m not not suggesting it.

  2. ^^^

  3. Ed, Will, my apologies for holidaying so slothfully I’ve just seen this now, but I _would_ be up for this sometime