The first thing that pops up that’s different on Erich Mrak’s new single “Girls” is that it’s tagged as “pop.” Anyone who’s a fan of Mrak will know that he’s just about as far as an artist can get from pop music, usually landing somewhere in the intersection of hip hop, trip hop, dream trap and ambient music. But pop? Well, why not.
“Girls” clocks in at only around two minutes but it manages to pack in a lot of pop cachet to that time, and most of it comes from the upbeat, sort of funky synth melody. It’s got a bit of an “Uptown Funk”-meets-Chromeo vibe to it, with a beat that’s kind of a bop. All that said, there’s definitely another side to “Girls.”
The vocals on the track, despite all that pop, still have Mrak’s characteristic dreamy, ambient vibe to them. He’s taken another step up on the auto-tune in order to make the vocals sound even more distant and robotic. There’s no hint of rap here either; all the vocals are sung and it’s a very melodic vibe. The lyrics themselves, however, are classic Mrak.
With all that pop synth and ambient sound design floating around, it might be easy to get into a groove with “Girls” and not notice the lyrics, but soon enough they appear out of the fog of pop and present themselves as a stark, direct contrast to the upbeat music around them. The lyrics are contemplative, emotive and a little bit morose, with the chorus asking, “why are girls always breaking your heart?” In two minutes, Mrak’s extraordinary lyrics are able to tell a detailed story of a relationship in peril, possibly due to mental illness and miscommunication.
Even couched in a shiny new pop format, Erich Mrak will always cut to the core of the human experience both through his lyrics and the vocal tones he uses. While “Girls” works as an emo-pop anthem, Mrak’s work will always tell a deeper truth.
“Girls” is out now and can be streamed or purchased by clicking here.