Studio Killers are Back, Y’all
By: Sam Quattro
Well okay, they’ve actually been back since February and I’ve been dragging on writing about it. Whoopsies.
There wasn’t too much going on in Studio Killers land since the Jenny video dropped in 2015. Sure, there were a few stray posts on the social medias throughout 2016, but in 2017 there was complete silence. I wrote an article about them as my hope dwindled that they were going to make something else, and I took to joking on Twitter that their last single, Grande Finale, was to be taken literally. Bands gotta take time to make new things and it’s not unusual for gaps to be taken between music, but for a band as active as Studio Killers was on the internet I thought the silence meant the end. They were as broken up as a virtual band could be in my mind.
But then they weren’t.
In February 2018, they started posting with a vigorous frequency all across the board. Weekly Youtube videos, near daily Instagram updates. They were back and ready to drop something new and I couldn’t be more hyped up.
So far since the triumphant return, there have been two singles. “Party Like It’s Your Birthday” and “Dirty Car.” These are both slight departures from the EDM flavor they were exploring years prior. While there still is quite a bit of electronica in these songs, they’re more subtle than the soaring choruses and booming drops from their first album. They seem tighter and more instrumentally calculated. More intimate.
“Party Like It’s Your Birthday” is my favorite out of the two. It has a killer bassline and a vaporwave tinge that heightens the lovely vocals by Cherry. It’s such a sweet song about wanting happiness for someone you love. Sweet in a going to the corner store at 1am to get soda and candy for them because they’re sad kind of way, that sort of comfortable caring despite everything falling apart. The way “the night is yours, and you are mine” is sung in the second verse is so warm, it almost makes you want to fall in love and spend all night painting the town. The video greatly helps to extenuate the cozy restlessness, prominently featuring Cherry and Jenny from the aforementioned eponymous song as they live their lives. It always makes me smile when it comes on.
That sweetness isn’t quite there in “Dirty Car.” It has more bombast and exists more on the house music side of things, which isn’t a bad thing necessarily. It definitely works on a party song level that “Party Like It’s Your Birthday” ironically didn’t; it’s a song to dance the night away to, drive around the city to, make out to. I’m more of a lyrical content person though and that leaves a bit to be desired here. Comparing your lover to a dirty car in the context of the song doesn’t really work, as the first verse goes: “I wish you’d be as dirty as my car, I could be your ride tonight. I may not be worthy of your heart, but I’ll make you feel alright.” When I think “I wish you’d be as dirty as my car” I think maybe it’s asking your partner to add more spice in your sex life, but the song doesn’t go in that direction at all. What does being as dirty as someone’s car mean? Do they mean dirty as in poor and helpless, in need of someone to take better care of it? It’s a fine song but it doesn’t do it for me.
Nevertheless, I’m still excited. There hasn’t really been a word as to if these singles will lead to a full album yet, but it’s in my hopes and dreams. This comeback doesn’t seem to have quite the variety in animation styles as they did six or so years ago, favoring a 2D pencil with pastel colors look these days, but that sort of thing doesn’t really hinder any of the actual ideas and content they’re putting forth in my opinion. This is a more mature, less flashy Studio Killers for a different era and I am all for it. In the doldrums of the last few years, something bright, warm, and positive deserves a welcome mat. Hope you stick around a while, Studio Killers. I missed you.