Dark, brooding, menacing, yet sweet, soulful, and seductive, STRØM’s “Mesmerize” is a hypnotic, mesmerizing story of obsession and desire.

Love has a tendency to bring out the extremes in people. Falling for someone can be like being on top of Mount Everest one second and in the depths of the Marianas Trench the next. What else on Earth or otherwise can produce flowery visions of butterflies and puppies one minute, when things are going well, but turn to visions of unspeakable cruelty and violence the next? Hell, it’s even bred into our sex drives - who wants tenderness and sweet all the time? Sometimes we crave the darkness, the rough-and-tumble, the high-highs and low-lows.



Sweetness and savagery come together in “Mesmerize”, the newest track from STRØM, a 27-year old multi-instrumentalist and producer from Sthlm, Sweden. Taking influence from darkly romantic artists like D’Angelo, DIIV, and Jai Paul, STRØM’s nightside beats, growling, animalistic sub-bass, mechanoid trap beats and angelic vocals speak to the heat, the madness, the frustration and ultimate release of love, in its many, many incarnations and manifestations. Plaintiff piano chords peek out through a grimy bassline, while STRØM’s vocals swim in and out of focus, like snippets from a lost weekend trying to drown heartbreak in pills and booze. Exquisite mixing stops this nightmare hangover from becoming too menacing, however, hinting at a happy ending. This isn’t pure bleakness - no, this is music for making do, for getting out from under and making constructive use of our darkest impulses and deepest desires.

STRØM’s “Mesmerize” is a surefire banger for fans of James Blake, The Weeknd, Massive Attack, or anyone who likes their romance laced with a bit of strychnine and steel. We here at We Are: The Guard most definitely approve and expect to see and hear big things from this emerging Swedish producer.


J. Simpson occupies the intersection between criticism, creativity, and academia. Based out of Portland, Or., he is the author of Forestpunk, an online journal/brand studying the traces of horror, supernatural, and the occult through music, fashion and culture. He plays in the dreamfolk band Meta-Pinnacle with his partner Lily H. Valentine, with whom he also co-founded Bitstar Productions, a visual arts collective focused on elevating Pop Culture to High Art.