The current pandemic has proved to be a watershed moment for TikTok. Beneath all of the addictive dance routines, whipped coffee tutorials and outrageous election memes, the app quickly became social media’s breeding ground for a new wave of pop icons. It was responsible for sending Kiwi legend BENEE’s ‘Supalonely’ stratospheric, while the Beabadoobee-sampling ‘death bed (coffee for your head)’ by rapper Powfu racked up over 1 billion plays across streaming services.
For Blu DeTiger, TikTok provided something much greater than mega-viral success: a platform to carve out her own identity. In the year since she started uploading ingenious bass covers, the 21-year-old has established herself as a unique and remarkably talented musician that has proven just how versatile her beloved instrument can be. Her sparkling debut EP ‘How Did We Get Here?’ is the perfect collection to show off the New Yorker’s marked progression from a wide-eyed internet star to a bonafide bass hero.
Built upon DeTiger’s glam-grunge club kid aesthetic, it’s a wildly animated effort that flaunts the maximalism of her bright, deliberately brash image. Magnetic lead single ‘Figure It Out’ cuts straight to the feeling via chugging riffs that are gorgeously crisp, while ‘Vintage’, a slouchy indie banger, is woozy and perfectly unsteady, with candid lyrics that could have easily been pulled from a teenage diary: “Yeah he breaks the rules but I wish that I could have him”, she sings airily, as if caught in a daydream.
A highlight can be found in the shape of ‘Night Shade’, which packs DeTiger’s outsized personality into its syncopated, Talking Heads-esque bass licks, and also pushes her conversational singing style. “And you told me that you missed me…” she taunts in a breezy drawl, before brushing it all off with aplomb: “Yeah, that’s pretty whack”. ‘Toast With The Butter’ is great fun, too; an irresistibly catchy tune with surprising, slinky melodies that pop and shine.
There are rare moments, however, where the EP’s freewheeling spirit threatens to overwhelm. For instance, the cheekily-titled ‘disco banger but you’re crying in the bathroom’ gets lost in its faraway riffs, which sound lacklustre compared to the explosions of colour elsewhere.
Yet ‘How Did We Get Here?’ feels so endlessly endearing. By unloading a bruising passion for the bass into every hook, DeTiger has crafted a current, cool and vibrant project that is sure to accelerate her dizzying rise to fame.
- Release date: March 5
- Record label: Blu DeTiger / ALT:Vision Records