If you haven’t met Los Angeles-based artist Royal & the Serpent before, she is the kind of music artist who is sassy and forthright and beguilingly enigmatic all rolled into one. That’s Ryan Santiago’s charm. You never know what she’s about to pull out of the musical bag. It’s never a hot mess but comes loaded with the excitement of finding out which ballpark the latest creation is stemming from. For argument’s sake, she is best off being looped-in with the alternative-pop scene. As the track “i can’t get high” informs, Royal & the Serpent has a charismatic voice, while stylistically reminiscent of the Dragonette frontwoman Martina Sorbara. The lyrics appear cut from the same page as Upsahl or Melanie Martinez. More alluring still. There is something quite hypnotic about her you can’t put your finger on.
Stylistically “i can’t get high” draws most parallels with Dragonette. (My main reasoning behind singling out Royal & the Serpent on the blog today.) Although I’ve seen some people referring to her as the female Cobain. The music is gritty with noticeable punk overtones, in all honesty, I’m just suitably enamoured with her voice. (I will definitely be catching up with some of her previous tracks, once I have wrapped, writing up this post.)
I’ve come to the conclusion on “i can’t get high” (which surely needs no explanation of what it is about) Royal & the Serpent steps into the shoes of Cobain on the verses and Dragonette on the choruses. The alternate switching of dynamics totally works. Singer Ryan Santiago works light and shade, the softer moments just make the edgy bits, edgier.
I love pop, electronic music and indie-pop more than anything. Once in a while, I hanker for something to take me out of my comfort zone, completely. Royal & the Serpent who appears to delight in being unpredictable strikes me as a music artist to seek out during, those kinds of moments. This is probably why she’s already flagged up on lots of ones to watch lists. I wish somebody had alerted me to the previous single “Choke” as it’s pretty, phenom. (Yes I cheated, I started my Royal & the Serpent discovery a little early. I couldn’t wait to get stuck in on the back catalogue, after such a dynamite introduction.)