If the album cover for Nicole Dollanganger’s Natural Born Losers creeps you out, then you probably shouldn’t listen to her music. There’s a seedy underbelly to America (or, in Dollanganger’s case, Canada), and she’s made it her duty to normalize it. Her connections to Grimes and Lana Del Rey are immediately evident in her little-girl voice and her baroque rhythms, though her lyrics are ultimately far darker than either of those artists’. She shoots down an angel and makes it into taxidermy in album opener “Poacher’s Pride”, bastardizes an old hymn into twisted stories in “In the Land”, and giving herself over to a sadistic high school hero in “You’re So Cool”. It’s not uplifting stuff, but it certainly is a fascinating perspective. While she sounds like the kind of young girl that would be taken advantage of in her own backwoods stories, she brings a masochistic agency to the proceedings that exposes society’s depravity rather than her own complicity.
Quicker listen: If Grimes and Lana Del Rey aren’t weird enough for you, Natural Born Losers should do the trick.