There’s a powerlessness in how we try to make ourselves more amenable to our surroundings, more agreeable with those above us.
Words: Jessie Smith | Photo: Danny Grant
To whom it may concern,
Discordant and frenetic, Dama Scout announces their debut album with ‘emails from suzanne’, a punchy ode to the passive aggression of workplace messaging. Delivered with an almost-breathy bite of the tongue by vocalist Eva Liu, evoking the spirits of Riot Grrrl and Hyper Pop, the song twirls through grit and whimsy. Anticipation, frustration, and catharsis appear to be at the forefront of the story as the band stops and starts, mimicking the slow builds and heavy hits of a live performance.
The upcoming album, ‘gwen wo lai (come with me)’ draws on themes of cultural displacement and alienation, as Liu pays tribute to her parents who emigrated from Hong Kong. Displacement fits well into the landscape of ‘emails from suzanne’, with the language of the workplace being filled with false positivity and hidden intentions. There’s a powerlessness in how we talk as we try and make ourselves more amenable to our surroundings, more agreeable with those above us, and more ambitious than those around us. I think of flexing my fingers above a keyboard, all clenched jaw and gritted teeth, as I try to compose something saccharine to send when all I want to say is ‘fuck you’ in capital letters and bold print.
Dama Scout have released a wild and colourful video to accompany the single, with cgi monsters remnsicient of the live action Scooby Doo movies (and I say that with the utmost affection). It’s nonsensical and riotous as the monsters decimate a grey and drab office, all whilst being watched over by a towering goat-headed devil. There is carefully planned chaos in both the sound and vision for ‘emails from suzanne’, both in the mania of Dama Scout’s horns and the hyperactivity of their monsters. Hurtling from lyric to lyric, from riff to riff, the song feels like screaming into a pillow at the end of a long day. It’s a welcome release of the pent up tension from our day to day life.