I've been a big fan of the artist formerly known as Juiceboxxx for years now. He publishes one of the sickest music blogs out there (John's Music Blog, literally located at musicblog.substack.com), and he's been putting out bright, sincere, super-catchy "underdog pop" music as RUSTBELT since last year.
I continue to love and identify with the Juiceboxxx/RUSTBELT lyrical throughline of constantly striving, trying, failing, fucking up, dusting yourself off, doing it again. A decade ago this sentiment was delivered via the restless rap-rock of "Renegade": "I got a hole in my life that I can't escape / and now I'm living on the run like a renegade". Now on "Oh My God Here It Comes Now" the theme of inveterate dissatisfaction gets a gentler treatment and a more optimistic outlook: "I see a good thing then I squash it / I can't help but fuck it up", but "that little moment before it got depressing" when "the music hit me right inside my mind" might just make all the discomfort and depression worth it.
God, this is one of my favorite things to think about. I watched the first episode of the second season of The Bear (Italian beef show) last night and the first time we see the loudmouth cousin character who usually swaggers through life, he's in the basement, sniffling, wondering what his purpose is. As TV writing it was a little heavy-handed but haven't we all been there? Existential despair among the broken equipment? What is my purpose? How do you know if you wasted your life? What I love about "Oh My God Here It Comes Now" is how it entertains despair but finds value in moments when you can pull an Eminem and lose yourself in the music/moment (sorry). Life is short, but it often feels very long, and it's important to seek out whatever makes you feel like it's worth living — in this case...a good tune or two.
While we're all here, I've especially enjoyed the John's Music Blog interviews with professional DJs like DJ Shawna (NBA DJ, for the Milwaukee Bucks) and Kid Cut Up (Pink's opening tour DJ) so you should read those if you like reading about the role of DJ as an incredibly important part of large-scale mood-setting!