“Fuck the Scene, I’m The Queen!”
Last Friday, “bimbocore” artist Scene Queen dropped a new single that I haven’t been able to stop thinking about: “18+”. The song addresses the state of the alt rock/emo scene in the most poignant-yet-accessible way.
If you’re a fan of this type of music–or grew up in “the scene”–don’t skip this one. It’s fun to listen to… and it’s going to give you plenty to think about.
If anyone deserves the title “Scene Queen”, it is most definitely this 25-year-old artist, as proven by this witty new bop.
Check out “18+” by Scene Queen on Spotify, below:
“18+” is a fast favorite. This song has the accessibility of a nursery rhyme, but also has the intensity of a well-written PSA. Witty lyrics are complimented by screams, guitars, and all sorts of hardcore goodness. This is typical of Scene Queen’s “bimbocore” style. She writes very well, and isn’t afraid to get in anyone’s face or tackle controversial topics… especially when it comes to empowering women.
Unfortunately, if you grew up in “the scene”, at least one childhood favorite band is ought to come to mind as you listen to “18+”… without Scene Queen ever delving into identifying info or even so much as dropping a hint.
With this song, Scene Queen channels the collective outrage of countless teens and young adults whose traumas have gone unspoken all this time. She doesn’t need to drop names. Your brain is going to fill in the gaps for you.
She’s the Scene Queen, but “18+” is sceneless.
One of my favorite lyrical moments comes early on in the song–
“Headline spot goes
to the abuser
Half my idols
are fucking losers.”
While this song is explicitly about the scene that the Queen grew up in–the emo/alt rock scene–this section tells a truth about the music industry at large.
Protection for “fucking losers” isn’t unique to emo; it’s a nefarious practice that seeps into every genre, across every scene. We see it in rock, we see it in rap, and we definitely see it in EDM.
The sad truth is that most listeners will be able to relate to “18+” to some degree. Fans from all scenes will unfortunately be able to think of at least one past idol that turned out to be unworthy of the title. What’s worse is that many of us will be able to think of multiple such artists–some of which are still getting those headline spots, despite getting “cancelled” on social media, at one point or another, for the crimes they’ve committed–or helped to cover up.
That’s another thing I admire about this track: Scene Queen is out to start a conversation that will hopefully spark real change. “18+” isn’t rooted in typical cancel culture antics; instead of writing a song explicitly about x band that “should be cancelled” and leaving it at that, Scene Queen wrote a song that’s both personal and (unfortunately) universal. She is giving a voice to the many and is showing just how widespread this issue is, all at once.
She validates the pain that so many of us have had to be silent about… and is seething with glorious rage at the same time.
Not a matter of “who”, but a matter of “what”.
This lyrical vagueness in “18+” led to some backlash on social media–fans rushed to defend artists who may not necessarily be worthy of their protection; fans rushed to point fingers at one band, or another, but honestly, may have missed the point entirely.
When it comes to such a widespread issue, it’s not a matter of who, it’s a matter of what.
The issue of exploitation and abuse within music scenes is so prevalent across the industry that at this point, it might not even really matter “who?” anymore. Not in the way that we think. (Of course, tattle on your buddies that need be tattled on; abuse is never OK, and should never be covered up). However– as demonstrated by Scene Queen– there are too many answers to that question.
Nearly every day it seems, we find out another “who” and what they did–or what the did to enable–or to cover up–in terms of abusive behavior.
What matters most now is: “what are we going to do about it?”
I might not have all the answers–but Scene Queen makes a good point in her song–
I, too, am “sick of good people getting overlooked”.
Perhaps we start there.
Check out the “18+” music video:
Keep in touch with Scene Queen:
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