Salvation ain’t looking for me.

Blaring, bright synths open up MXMS’ debut EP, Funeral Pop I, aptly named for the mystic but infectious brand of music with which the duo’s been hitting the scene. Their collection of singles throughout the last year (plus some new goodies) opens with “Salvation Hurts,” the rather chipper tune of the bunch that sounds like it belongs in a retro-style film premiering at Sundance.



But as the saying goes: not all that glitters is gold, and the first song’s opening line remains poignant throughout this EP’s narrative. Funeral Pop I is a provocative confessional, a telling and re-telling of sins that singer Ariel Levitan attempts to work through, all the way until the last song when she finally discovers who her enemy really is.

MXMS begin with an impossible tale of redemption, but when “Gravedigger” hits, the picture gets bigger, and a lot clearer. “Gravedigger,” with its sultry beats and risqué lyrics performs like a satanic seduction; if your sleep paralysis demon beckoned you back to sleep, even though you’re fighting with full strength to simply wake up.



Next is “Paris,” the softest track on the album despite the fact that it keeps in tone with the consistently dark atmosphere. “Paris” is a yearning of what could be, if salvation was attainable in an alternate but equally cold universe. Then, Mazzy Star meets The Cranberries in the beautiful and contemplative “After Night” where Ariel shows off her range. You’re pivoted in a different direction with “Timebomb,” a crunchy tune that leads you into the EP’s climax with its dirty, sinister vibes.

The EP fades out with “Enemy,” and by this point, the vocals are frank and almost sardonic. There is a finality in the last song; an acceptance of the dark reality that the duo have continuously grappled with in these songs. Have you ever gave in to guilt? Ever realized that you kinda like being a little devious sometimes? MXMS have embraced the shadows in the corners of the room; have long found the thrill of giving chase in the dark. So, listen to their words of advice, loosen your inhibitions a little bit and repeat after them: “The enemy is me.”

Funeral Pop I is out today on streaming platforms. MXMS have various tour dates this month including a brief stint with She Wants Revenge.

You can stream/download Funeral Pop I here.