As the saying goes, when people tell you who they are, believe them.

For as long as anyone can remember, MXMS have been calling their music Funeral Pop. Anyone who tried failed to come up with a better description. It’s only fitting that they named their latest EP just that.

“Salvation Hurts” is the lead single off Funeral Pop I and it’s a proper anthem for this niche genre the dark pop duo finds themselves the torch bearers of. It’s the gloomy power pop jam times like these, and goth proms, need.

“Salvation ain’t looking for me,” Ariel Levitan declares in a tone mixed with triumph and resignation. One she keeps for the entirety of these proceedings. Underneath her always impeccable vocals, a pulsating synth bass slowly builds to the ratchet up the tension. The track rises and builds and takes unexpected turns, but it’s centered by a rousing chorus flush with cathartic release and kinetic energy. It’s a brilliant juxtaposition, the swelling music matched with the sorrowful lyrics. An insanely difficult trick this pair could perform in their sleep.

It sounds like Ellie Goulding after she’s taken a bunch of DMT and watched a documentary on Bertrand Russell. It’s a projectile missile, aimed directly at Mitski’s “Nobody,” as it looks to become the new ‘dance song for people with no one to dance with.’

It’s passe and reductionist to say that something is a mood or a vibe. Yet at the same time, “Salvation Hurts” is undeniably a MOOD and a VIBE.

And it’s good as hell.



Funeral Pop I  is out May 1st. “Salvation Hurts” is out now.

If this is your first time hearing of MXMS (me and my shadow) and you want all of that you can get, we’ve more than got you covered.

MXMS are on tour now and will remain so through July. Check out their official site for dates, venue, and ticket info.


Calvin Paradise is not any one thing. The half-hearted vagabond and forgetful luddite currently resides in Los Angeles and how he spends his time is none of your damned business.