Review: "Black Gold" - MISSY
Let me set the scene for you: it’s summer, blazing– the heat has never been worse than this. You’re sitting in your bedroom with the window open wide and a fan that blows hot air on to your face as you quietly seethe about human greed and its effect on the earth, resulting in these devastatingly burning summers. There isn’t any song that better captures the environmentalist consequences of materialism’s lusty allure than MISSY’s “Black Gold,” where she takes the role of an oil baron who just wants all that the earth can give. Baroque and gothic, “Black Gold” is the embodiment of gluttony– that ever-present hunger for power from those in already-powerful positions. Being worth billions of dollars and exploiting the world apparently isn’t enough for them: they just want– no, need– more. And more. And more.
MISSY has a real way with words; the lyrics of “Black Gold” are imagery-inducing, vivid, and delightfully dark. In spite of these shadowy words, MISSY’s vocals are light and buttery smooth; being splayed overtop of the song’s instrumentals, it creates an interesting dichotomy between the actual words being said and the song’s general soundscape. That being said, “Black Gold” has a delightfully complicated and complex soundscape; from MISSY’s hums to the strings to the deep synth, it all comes together to form one very, very compelling sound. As you listen to the song, you may find that each beat seemingly drags out, almost giving the effect of thick, oil-like sludge in the midst of MISSY’s airy vocals. As she hums, “but it’s not mine to take/and it’s not yours to give” that theme of covetous greed bubbles to the top, each verse being only more vehement about want it wants: “diamonds in my hair/…money everywhere.”
MISSY (whose real name is Abigail Knudson) is a dark blend of alt-pop, gothic, and baroque. This persona, MISSY, is described by Knudson as a “Frankenstein monster”; she is an Art Project, cracked yet reglued in gold– better after she was broken, like the art of Kintsugi porcelain. Her first single “Missy” was released back in 2018; in its wake was single after single, until 2019, when her first album, “Strange,” was released. There really isn’t any other voice out there like MISSY’s, whose eclectic stylings transport you to her world. Enthralling, mesmerizing, and unique, she has been described as if “Kate Bush and Brian Eno had a baby,” to which I wholeheartedly agree with. MISSY’s most recent work includes her 2023 single entitled, “Butterflies,” and a 2022 album called “Total Nightmare.” As a lover of all things strange and gothic, MISSY caters to my tastes like no other; if you enjoy the weird and spooky– or are looking to branch out into the wonders of alt-pop– then MISSY is the perfect artist for your next playlist.
Written By Alexa Leung