Fire has always had a special place in Lauren Lusardi’s music. Whether we’re talking about her hot pink hair or her feminist electro-pop assault that she once described as “music to burn your Barbie Dolls to,” the 21 year-old artist better known as Plasmic is all about channeling rage into a sound that’s as bold and candy-colored as her aesthetic. That’s the feeling we got when we first listened to “Revenge,” the single that became the lead track on her new self-titled EP (out today on Spotify). The song’s ’80s pop veneer is quickly melted by Plasmic’s powerhouse vocals on the chorus that sounds like Blondie fronted by a really pissed off Debbie Harry. Considering the subject matter, it’s easy to see why the anger fits.
“It’s a song about rapists,” she says. “Often times women who are rape survivors are told to forgive and forget and I think that’s kind of fucked up, as if they owe an apology for what’s happened to them and that was what I was going for with the lines ‘Revenge is so sweet, I won’t be discreet.’ Like it’s okay to be angry. You should be.”
As the first song she recorded for the new EP, it set the tone for a lot of the sound and subject matter on the album bolstered by layers of glittery and glitchy keyboards and jagged electronic sounds birthed on Korg Kaoss Pads, which the Mission Viejo-based artist produced mostly on her own with a little help from a couple engineer friend Edward Donnelly who helped add just enough gloss to the sound to make it Spotify-worthy.
The result is an outsider’s take on pop music that’s both cathartic and catchy. Sorting through a bunch of personal issues with love, relationships and sexism, the four song project glows with promise on songs like “Manchild,” another, DEVO-inspired track that highlights Plasmic’s frustration when it comes to escaping “the male gaze,” or being catcalled by strangers because of her appearance. Though conveying to the world these kinds of everyday struggles that women go through is tiring and frustrating at times, Plasmic takes solace in the fact that she even had courage to write them in the first place.
“It’s therapeutic for me to write about these things. Writing these songs is the only therapy that’s really worked for me,” she says. “It’s just been months of me being cooped up in my little shed in the backyard and really reflecting on myself and writing everything. Other than killing people, it’s pretty accurate. Obviously the rage is there.”
Plasmic performs tonight at HM 157 at We Are One Fest. For full details, click here.