Premiere: romæo creates an excitingly dystopian world with her new single, stare
Finding the meeting point of acts like Charli XCX and FKA Twigs, the Sydney-based musician thrives from experimentalism and uniqueness.
There's something remarkably special about music that really removes itself from everything else out there. It's why we're drawn to artists that feel like they're in their own lane, those that experiment and push themselves beyond the contemporary boundaries that are in place, and those that feel like they have such a good time doing so. Take Sydney-based musician romæo, for example, whose debut single revealed earlier in the year caught attention thanks to its genre-shifting, beautiful-yet-twisted sound that plucks from influences including Caroline Polachek and Imogen Heap.
Now, with her second single stare premiering today ahead of its greater release later in the week, it's become more clear than ever that romæo is a musician on the cusp of the unknown, and whatever that holds. It doubles down on the twisted soundscapes of her debut, crafting this melodically quite beautiful sound that she warps with dystopian experimentalism and twisted creativity, morphing it into an entirely different beast that really contrasts the boundaries between lightness and heaviness; etherealness and something much darker.
The end result is a journey. Her vocals take the centre stage, twinkling with a grace and charm you'd expect from the aforementioned Caroline Polachek and names like FKA Twigs. There's something slightly sinister about it all though, which really comes to fruition as a building production envelops the vocal above and takes ahold of the single; brooding synth dancing amongst percussive claps and those vocals, which together, feels rather dystopian and otherworldly.
"stare began as a simple acoustic guitar folk song about the effort I had gone to in order to catch someone’s attention, obviously to no avail," she says on the single, which was completely self-written and produced by romæo, albeit for guidance by legendary Australian musicians Paul Mac and Rainbow Chan. "I then overdramatised the whole experience and imagined what it would look like if my online stalking was translated to the real world. I wanted the production to demonstrate both the excitement and innocence of a crush but also the destructive obsession it can quickly turn into."
It's something that further builds into the single's video clip, which arrives accompanying the track today. Directed by Olivia Costa and featuring romæo front and centre, the video clip dives further into that psychological-stalker-thriller-esque theme, playing around with some of the visual techniques synonymous with those genres as she moves with a haunting presence, building into that stalker/being stalked feeling that was used for influence in the single's sound.
It's a thrilling, brilliant and remarkably left-field adventure that's like to be unlike anything else you've heard before, so take a dive into it below, as it premieres on Pilerats ahead of its full release this Friday, November 20th.