10 Songs, 38 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

To say there’s a disconnect between Nicole Dollanganger’s pristine, angelic voice and her weighty, extremely graphic subject matter would be an understatement. The Grimes-approved Ontario singer nominally trades in the ambient textures, artfully smeared melodies, and subliminal rhythms of dream pop, but the songs on her sixth album, Heart Shaped Bed, are more likely to unsettle rather than soothe. “Lemonade” may come on like a lonesome piano ballad about domestic doldrums, but it leads to a tawdry, vengeful tale of infidelity that climaxes with distorted drone verging on doom metal. And while the minimalist R&B of the title track invokes the ultimate honeymoon accoutrement, it’s less a story of consummated romance than of a desperate attempt to rekindle it. This is an album whose idea of a pickup line is “I don’t want to be your girl/I want to be your gun/Blow that jaw right off that handsome face” (the chilling pop-noir of “Beautiful & Bad”), and where desire leads to fantasies of death (“My Baby”). Heart Shaped Bed isn’t just a portrait of innocence lost—it's a rumination on whether innocence is even a natural state in the first place.

EDITORS’ NOTES

To say there’s a disconnect between Nicole Dollanganger’s pristine, angelic voice and her weighty, extremely graphic subject matter would be an understatement. The Grimes-approved Ontario singer nominally trades in the ambient textures, artfully smeared melodies, and subliminal rhythms of dream pop, but the songs on her sixth album, Heart Shaped Bed, are more likely to unsettle rather than soothe. “Lemonade” may come on like a lonesome piano ballad about domestic doldrums, but it leads to a tawdry, vengeful tale of infidelity that climaxes with distorted drone verging on doom metal. And while the minimalist R&B of the title track invokes the ultimate honeymoon accoutrement, it’s less a story of consummated romance than of a desperate attempt to rekindle it. This is an album whose idea of a pickup line is “I don’t want to be your girl/I want to be your gun/Blow that jaw right off that handsome face” (the chilling pop-noir of “Beautiful & Bad”), and where desire leads to fantasies of death (“My Baby”). Heart Shaped Bed isn’t just a portrait of innocence lost—it's a rumination on whether innocence is even a natural state in the first place.

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