By: Megan Arrow
poptropicaslutz! return just 2 months after Catastrophe with a playful new single to continue the campaign of their newest era. The song depicts navigating romantic intimacies for the first time through a veil of youthful inexperience and sweet naivete. Over the track, the pair trade cheeky but sincere lines to a melody that’ll be the latest earworm to check into your brain. While "Sierra Echo X-Ray" may pitch its title in code, the lyrics make haste in pointing the listener directly to the topic.
The pair are bold in the internal monologues of their written personas with Nick Crawford providing statements of ‘I’ve got her in my bed’ and ‘It looks like I just might have sex’. A stark contrast to their confidence in reality when, in verse two, we hear Christian Cicilia allude to an event of performance anxiety through the metaphor of a game of battleships: ‘She just sank my battleship. Oh, how could she do that? No, can we redo that? I don't wanna fuck, you killed the mood fast’. The quick listed questions show the confusion that can come of intimacies between awkward and inexperienced teens; a predictable anti-climax seen commonly in young people when translating the social expectations of sexual intimacy to their real-life experiences. This single perfectly juxtaposes curse words and sexual innuendo with innocent imagery such as charcuterie, flowers and monopoly to highlight the emotional ups and downs of puberty and navigating that age range and its challenges.
Nick, Christian and producer Chris Lyon are a dream team in the studio and have created instrumentals that sound as if they’ve been pulled straight from your favorite old-school video game. We are ushered into their world with cranked and crunchy modular synths that present the melody. These glitchy and 8 Bit-style tones generate a soundscape that thematically matches the youthful lyrics with ease. Pulsing drum patterns met with bright and bouncy auto-tuned vocals evoke The 1975’s "I Like America and America Likes Me" and McBusted’s collaborative work "Riding on My Bike" – the latter also discussing a younger romantic experience.
Fresh into their twenties, Nick and Christian are wasting no time on the journey to cultivate their catalog. Newly signed to Epitaph Records and evidently working hard on their follow-up to last year’s Deluxe EP, the New York duo join artists such as The All-American Rejects, HUNNY and The Linda Lindas on the punk/alternative label, expanding an already impressive roster. Sierra Echo X-Ray is just one of the singles in this new era for poptropicaslutz! and a taste of what is gearing up to be a very exciting addition to their discography. But then I’d expect nothing less from a duo originating from one of the most inspiring corners of the planet.
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