By Delaney Clifford
The latest and greatest track from the status quo-challenging duo Holychild is a true kick to the teeth. The two have collaborated with singer Kate Nash to bring us “Rotten Teeth,” a dance-anthem that goes far deeper than the heart-pounding beats and groove that lie on the surface. Coming to us with a video full of sexually charged imagery and feminist-allied lyrics, this is certainly deeper than other songs that we’d find in the “Related Artists” column. Self-described as “Brat Pop” by the duo’s Liz Nistico, the video for “Rotten Teeth” speaks entirely for itself. Featuring powerful lyrics such as “I can never be the girl I wanna be – No, I’ll never be free,” along with the imagery of cheap, disposable razor-blades, gender-bending costuming, and cotton-candy pubic hair, this video and song are a thrust back against social constructs, conformity, and the oppression of anybody who identifies outside of the norms.
Holychild is tired of explaining their art, so they’ve given us “Rotten Teeth” and left it up to us to decide. The lyrics and message are draped in electronic haze and a groove that gets to everyone, something done very much on purpose. This song comes with an air of cynicism, as if the duo just wanted to see how far they could take the joke. Even still, this song falls relatively in line with the creative drive featured in the other music that we’ve heard from this group. It still excites us; Nistico still captivates us with her voice, Diller’s instruments continue to beat and shock through the song, but “Rotten Teeth” seems to show the side of this duo that’s sick of the hype. Sick of the oversaturation of absurdist art and ridiculous gimmicks, this video and song-style are a satire to the way some artists garner attention in the current industry. However, no matter how far the satire reaches, the lyrical content remains, which is resounding. For all of the vitriol directed at the music industry, it doesn’t begin to match the frustration and fury hurled towards the oppressive constraints of being a female. This is where Nistico comes in, pushing back against all of what she and millions of other women are fed up with and saying “no more.”
With this song, Holychild has declared war on restriction and falsity. These musicians want people to exist the way that pleases them, not the way that pleases the people. Whether it’s making music for radio play or shaving your armpits, this is one group that’s sick of it. So if you’re into a band that’s defying convention, and having a hell of a time doing it, Holychild is the band for you. Happy listening.