MXMS portrays a ruined relationship as the ruins of a faltering civilization in the “i Revenge” lyric video, a We Are: The Guard exclusive!



“Love is gentle, love is blind,” according to The Bible. “Love is a many-splendored thing,” according to the movies. “All you need is love,” says John Lennon. But love is also  “a victory march/it’s a cold/and it’s a broken hallelujah,” as the prophet Leonard Cohen put it so poignantly.

Love is many things, to different people. Love is all, you might say, which is to say, it’s a life, and life can be hard and complicated. Relationships, triply so.

On “i Revenge,” MXMS (short for “Me And My Shadow”), the duo of Ariel Levitan and Jeremy Dawson portray the ashes of a love gone wrong. Brutal, poignant, painful emotions spell out over scenes of a society in turmoil, like an incriminating message scrawled on the white tile wall of a bathroom in blood. Images of ruined, abandoned amusement parks and protesting crowds toppling a statue of some despot spell out one clear message, “The party’s over.” What once was vibrant, full of life, heart, and heat is now so much dust, like the utopian socialist dream of the Soviet Union, or Coney Island laid to rot.

MXMS know how to lace their bergamot-and-strychnine electronica with enough honey to make it delicious - in this case, the silken smoothness of Levitan’s vocals and Dawson’s crisp production. MXMS describe their sound as “Funeral Pop,” taking the bright, bold colors and uplifting euphoria of electropop outfits like Chvrches or Sia with the somber hues of post-rock and trip-hop. It’s like a sunny afternoon, dripping with shadows; the smell of coconut oil and rum blending with soot and sweat. It’s the sound of The Aftermath - perfect accompaniment to dancing until you can no longer think, or driving 50 miles to outrun your ghosts, while we still have fossil fuel.

To hear more Funeral Pop, MXMS have created an original Spotify playlist for We Are: The Guard, for those who are no stranger to crying on the dancefloor, or loving in a graveyard. Life these days, like love, is complicated, and there’s a lot of ways to think and feel about it. For those not afraid of complex, contradictory emotions, “i Revenge” is primed for your next mixtape or playlist!


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.