It may not yet be an official Olympic sport, but cake sitting is having quite the moment in the sun this week. That’s all thanks to Indigo De Souza, whose new single “Kill Me” isn’t just a fantastic, slow-churning rocker that gradually builds from gentle guitar strums into a tremendously cathartic anthem of fucked-up and out of control emotion. It’s also an excuse for a video that highlights the fine art of cake sitting—well, maybe “fine” is a stretch, but take a look at this match-up between a ferociously eager gentleman and the pregnant woman who cleans his clock in the ring, both of them using every inch of their bodies to smush some cakes, and tell us their isn’t a little artistry involved, here.
What makes “Kill Me” such a fantastic showcase for De Souza’s talent is the way the song functions as a Trojan horse of slowly building turmoil. “Kill me, slowly / take me with you,” she sings in the opening line, already potent lyrically but with those words restrained by the gentleness of the simple chords, as though this was going to be an old-school, K Records-style troubadour anthem. Then the drums kick in: “Call your mother, tell her you love her / call my mother, and tell her the same.” It’s a simple, stately beat, and the lyrics seem to portend a coming sweetness.
Then, it all blows apart. As jagged riffing and cymbals crash together, and in the ensuing intensity, De Souza makes the revealing confession that “no one asked me to feel this fucked up, but here I am, fucked up.” The third verse is even more brutal. By the time of the coda—a shouted, cathartic cry of release and anguish in simultaneous measure—the simple last line, repeated over and over, has gained so much richness and depth, it retroactively adds an even greater pathos to everything that’s come before: “Tell them I wasn’t having much fun.” Hurt rarely sounds so angry when delivered in such a subtly profound package.
As calling cards for a new album go, this is a hell of a statement. Any Shape You Take, Indigo De Souza’s new album, is out August 27 on Saddle Creek. You can pre-order the record here. Any cakes purchased to accompany your personal listening parties, however, will have to be bought separately.