It is not uncommon for art (in any form) to lend itself to criticizing and recounting world events that mark a before and after in world history and frequently leave scars on societies.
The events of the year 2020 undoubtedly remain latent and current in many. For some, it was a challenging chapter that ended; for others, there are still wounds that have not yet closed and still have a long way to go before they can heal.
In the panorama of the music industry, we find ourselves where talent shows, hits, and singles give us what they give us: dancing and the typical things we talk about in our most music-loving moments. Dead Hendrix and Levi Zadoff are one of them. Apart from their songs that mix rap, rock, electronic, and other musical styles, they tell stories among colors, visual references, and nuances.
If a few years ago we used to rack our brains looking for and understanding David Lynch’s films, or following the clues in abstract paintings, in this one, something similar happens in a very personal way.
Canadian Gavin Kratt (Dead Hendrix) and Levi Zadoff are searching for something beyond fame. On their EP, Dead Summer, is symbolic of summer’s natural and literal death during the Covid 19 pandemic. We can see reflective themes such as anxiety, drug abuse, the end of family and friends, and the desolation caused by the lockdown.
Although it seems like a theme that denotes a lot of sadness and “emptiness,” not everything is as it seems; in their songs, there is a world, a universe that reflects it differently. Using the pandemic as creative fuel, “Dead Summer” transforms the feelings of loss into hypnotic melodies. They deliver relatable songwriting, compelling angst-fueled vocal performances, infectious hooks, catchy melodies, and excellent musicianship.
It is an easy-to-listen project, highlighting the exciting thing about the punk philosophy, which rejects and questions all established dogmas. Precisely what Dead Hendrix is aiming for, as the themes of his lyrics cover taboo subjects such as drug abuse, trauma, insecurities, and intense heartbreak.
Both artists are not afraid to speak their minds, as no one can change their ideas about the world. These ways of thinking and acting are immortalized in Dead Summer, which depicts raw emotions through songs such as the sarcastic opener titled “Dont Think It Could Get Much Better.”
This song has rhythms and melodies reminiscent of the most loved and appreciated punk-rock bands, such as Blink-182 and Green Day, which is highly positive. These bands represented a change of era when young people began to feel less identified with grunge aesthetics and behaviors and sought other types of music more suited to the shift in mentality they were presenting.
“Dont Think It Could Get Much Better” is a song that represents a style that knew how to readapt and overcome the changes, the momentary fashions of music, and persevere over time—an excellent hit for all those who are true punk-rock fans.
“Cant be God” seems a controversial title for all it could represent. Just reading those words instantly makes you curious, inviting you to discover what this song is about. Could it be about trying to manipulate others and failing in the attempt?
The answer is no. In fact, in this song, both artists accept that they can’t control every aspect of their lives, representing a thoughtful message for everyone, especially those who suffer from constant anguish if something doesn’t go according to plan.
Adding fire to the fuel, “Love Game,” which plays with a perfect blend of rock rhythms (the beginning of the song can bring some of Bon Jovi’s refrains to mind) and rap rhythms, shows the vulnerability and struggle of being trapped in our heads when they are soaked with multiple emotions.
And last but not least, “Teenage Dirtbag,” which has an air of pop-punk, rock, and rap—a memorable song that constantly changes rhythms without losing the melody or the order. Everything fits together perfectly without becoming dissonant, despite the difference in genres they have used for one song.
Dead Summer is now available via all major streaming platforms. Make sure to check out Levi Zadoff and Dead Hendrix’s social accounts to get real-time updates on their endeavors.
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