Let’s talk Melanie Martinez. I was aware of the eclectic singer-songwriter in 2014, but hadn’t noticed she recently waded into the #metoo and body image discussions on recent “K-12” focus track “Strawberry Shortcake.” To be fair, I seemed to be alone in my appreciation of Melanie when I first wrote about her. I got the impression that I was way-off-the-mark in my early prediction, that she’d be a cool artist to watch. Fair comment, she is extremely avant-garde in the way that you’ll ever love, love, love what she does or not. Regardless, speaking out on important social issues which Melanie does so openly on “Strawberry Shortcake” is not something we can ignore, for a moment more.
The pastel-coloured world she has continually developed for her creations evokes softness, sensitivity and femininity. Her, lyrics are painted in darker strokes and reveal the not so comfortable topics which pop songs usually avoid. Within her sophomore album, “K-12” Martinez addresses the struggle to find a place to belong. This is a fully-fledged concept piece, being that she wrote and directed a 90-minute movie to run alongside it. A massively spectacular undertaking which appeals in the same whimsically unconventional as Bernard Couture’s cinematography on “A Series Of Unfortunate Events” or any, one of Tim Burton’s interesting, edgy movies.
In her sweet, doll-like voice Martinez uses the sugary guise of “Strawberry Shortcake” to discuss body dysmorphia and as a way to better educate about the sexualization of women for the way they choose to dress and their physical appearance. The song is not as cute as the title alludes it to be. Covers potent, truths about sexism and sexual harassment. Feeling this track was too important to be left in the last few music release days of 2019, we’ve brought it forward into 2020. The discussion around these topics is as relevant today as they’ve been during the last few years. “Strawberry Shortcake” inspires change. We applaud.