Producer and artist MISSY has kicked off 2022 with two singles, ‘Ekpyrosis’ and ‘Only Lovers When The World Ends’ (OLWTWE).
‘OLWTWE’ is about extremities of feeling and circumstance. MISSY sings: “I shut down when I think of you… Hiding at the slightest little hint of you.” At first, it seems like denial about developing feelings for someone, but it soon reads as claustrophobia within a relationship. These people are “only lovers when the world ends / holding you at arm’s length,” only colliding at the most desperate time, when even still, they are defensive. Such directly emotive lyrics are juxtaposed with wordplay that conceals simmering anger: “your verbiage lacks in a / certain vernacular / use the magic word that’s not ‘like’”. Brutal but striking!
MISSY excels at scintillating textures in ‘OLWTWE.’ The drums and incessant claps are crisp and tightly wound with guitar licks. The first chorus strips it right back before hitting you across the face with, somehow, even fuller drums and her signature acidic bass.
MISSY’s melodies are intricate. They leap octaves and run back down and have that particular quality of someone who produces her work. The production and vocals work synchronously, swelling in intensity together. MISSY often builds kicks and basses from voice notes and random noises, which become unrecognisable by the effective end result. ‘OLWTWE’ feels organic because it does not rely on presets.
This song marks an exciting evolution in MISSY’s career: easy to listen to, dynamically varied, and pop-orientated but singular.