by Marc Ridley
CocknBullKid’s debut album, “Adulthood”, is available today. According to her website, its mission statement is this: ‘turn negative emotions into high-saturation pop songs that will turn the FM dial kaleidoscopic when they inevitably perform a massive ambush of the charts.’
It’s a theme that you can sense right from the beginning of the album. The title track sets out a summery style with its intricate and sweet – if a little twee – melodies, and with lyrics like ‘God, if you really love me / you’ve got a funny way of showing it’, it suggests that this is an album with a warm heart but a troubled brain.
Still, there’s plenty to smile about: the eponymous “CocknBullKid” is summery without being saccharine, showing strength in its understatement yet still delivering a cracking melody which is both upbeat and refreshing.
The lead single, “Hold On To Your Misery”, brings an uplifting crowd-style chorus with that same realistic and life-learned message. As Anita Blay – CocknBullKid herself – says: ‘Sometimes you have to go back to that point when you’re 14 and you think everyone hates you.’ The musical feel is overwhelmingly cheery, however, and it’ll be as welcome on the radio as it will be in your iPod on the beach.
Tracks like “Hoarder” and “One Eye Closed” are more built-up and bolder, but nevertheless boast bursting choruses which rival the others in positivity. They’re less summery, but only just, and they’re still relentless in their listenability.
There are other quirkier tracks in there too; “Mexico” is a rhythmic, whispered shuffle, whilst “Asthma Attack” (watch the video here) is a suitably breathless highlight, whose calm but effective production lets the song’s simple strength shine, offering welcome relief from the epic-production pop numbers which will be played to death in clubs across the continent this summer.
“Adulthood” is not only a fine debut but a fine album in its own right. What the album really shows is that we can expect to enjoy CocknBullKid’s work very much; Blay is evidently a talented writer, an effortless performer, and, most importantly of all, a deep thinker.
If you missed our audio interview with CocknBullKid, you can catch up on that here.