Illuminati Hotties “Kiss Yr Frenemies”
Whilst the name may imply a group, Illuminati Hotties is actually Sarah Tudzin. That fact and the album name already let you know that this is a clever release which might be a bit out of the ordinary. We certainly love the term “tenderpunk” which has been used to describe the sound.
You’re immediately drawn in to the album with the seductive styling of the intro “Kiss Yr Frenemies”. But what we really love is the way that songs like “(You’re Better) Than Ever” and “Shape Of My Hands” just inspire a feeling of youthful joyfulness. There’s just a genuine sense of exuberance to tracks like “Paying Off The Happiness” that you can’t help but fall in love with them.
Importantly though, this isn’t just a sound that can be enjoyed by the ‘youth’. There’s a real sense of character to songs like “For Cheez (My Friend, Not The Food)”. The result is an album which can also appeal to us more ‘mature’ (as if!) music fans who still desire a bit of sweetness in their punk/indie music.
It’s also interesting that “Cuff” has been chosen as a single as it’s a darker and more twisting song. It again suggests that there’s a desire to do something a little different. Together with the bittersweet refrain of “Patience” and “The Rules” these songs help to give the album a real sense of balance and flow.
We also love the fact that the album isn’t over sincere. Certainly “Pressed 2 Death” shows an important sense of humour and it’s a glorious song to listen to. It also provides a perfect foil to the poignant piano ballad sound of “Declutter”.
This is a really fine release which just seems to get better and better on every listen. It kind of feels like one of those significant releases that could end up defining an artist (such as Liz Phair’s “Exile In Guyville”). It’s great to have a new artist that’s delivering something a bit special… definitely a must buy!