It’s been incredible to watch a new generation of artists emerge post-pandemic. These are artists who have honed their craft via the internet. They’ve taught themselves how to produce and promote music, and have no qualms about emotional vulnerability. They’ve shared more to thousands of anonymous followers than most of us could tell our closest friends. Usually, these TikTok ragers are enough to get the kids head-banging, but the superficiality of their issues will evoke gentle ‘aww’s (or mild disgust) from anyone over the age of 15. Hell or High Water, the debut EP from Dublin-born artist SPIDER, however, is something else entirely.
Opener America’s Next Top Model is a strident start. Immediate comparisons can be drawn to M.I.A, or if someone gave an interesting version of Olivia Rodrigo a fuzz pedal. Why Would I Bother? is a personal favourite, with some serious ugly truths dropped over an addictive alt-pop hook. Elsewhere, closer Fuck Everyone Fuck Everything is the song Yungblud wishes he wrote. It’s a pop-punk influenced track that adults wouldn’t be embarrassed to listen to. SPIDER reaches an apex of frustration which straddles the line of personal and universally relatable extremely well, something artists far more established than her frequently struggle with.
SPIDER’s Hell or High Water stands head and shoulders above her online contemporaries. Confrontational, clever and ultimately sincere, this is a collection of songs that have been made for more than likes and shares. An artist to get excited about now.
SPIDER – Hell or High Water
Words: Elle Kelleher