A black and white photo of a woman in a wedding gown looking in a mirror.

illuminati hotties: Kiss Yr Frenemies Album Review

By Cheyenne Young
Music Journalist

Artist: illuminati hotties
Album: Kiss Yr Frenemies
Label: Tiny Engines
Release Date: May 11, 2018

A great band name for an even greater band, illuminati hotties hit it out of the park with Kiss Yr Frenemies. Sole member Sarah Tudzin uses 11 songs (precisely 33 minutes) to take listeners on a roller coaster of emotions that nobody wants to leave. From her upbeat, high-tempoed tracks like “(You’re Better) Than Ever” and “Paying Off the Happiness,” to her more solemn songs like “Cuff” and “Declutter,” Tudzin keeps you interested and desperately craving more.

The album could be described as indie-pop, but it also dips into many other genres to create a cocktail of mesmerizing sounds. Within the simple drum hits and strong guitar beats, there are different influences from various subgenres of punk and rock. The use of downbeats and guitar picking will keep you aggressively headbanging while Tudzin’s sweet (yet stellar) vocals will have you dancing around your room.

The track “Pressed 2 Death” may be the greatest song I have heard in weeks – and it will definitely be on repeat for weeks to come. The relatable song describes a sad truth about romance for young people today. The track hits hard guitar riffs that drop off to a solo drum beat to pull together the chorus, “You only like me when I’m sad/ you only want me when I’m feelin’ bad.” Tudzin brings up a valid point when she sings, “What’s all the hype with cold brew coffee and kissin’ in public?” A question I think we’re all asking.

Tudzin coins the phrase “tenderpunk” to describe the sound of illuminati hotties, and I couldn’t agree more. Kiss Yr Frenemies is the first (and hopefully not last) album created under illuminati hotties and I find it’s one of the better albums put out this year. This rockin’ artist will be playing at Barracuda on Nov. 12. Do yourself a favor and get your tickets now. Also, be sure to show your support for great music by following illuminati hotties on Bandcamp and Spotify!

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