“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” is a phrase embroidered on something in your grandmother’s house. It’s the banalest kind of bumper sticker wisdom that’s as likely to elicit an eye roll as it is to be ignored completely.

And on rare occasions, it’s an accurate description of events that transpired.

Three years after undergoing surgery for moyamoya -- a potentially fatal disease caused by blocked arteries at the base of the brain -- artist Jennifer Lee, is making the best music of her career.

Better known as TOKiMONSTA, her latest offering "Dream Chorus" is a complex, sophisticated, and gorgeous song that will have you smashing repeat. Clocking in at a tidy 139 seconds, nothing would be lost from looping this bad boy 4-5 times.

As its name suggests, “Dream Chorus” is a woozy, surreal number that casually overtakes you. It’s a percussion-driven song that’s anchored by a surf-rock guitar lick and accented with electronic pulses and tender piano. It’s a wave that doesn’t overwhelm you but carries you in a groovy drift to a far better place.

And like every great dream, it’s over all too soon.



Released on her own Young Art label, “Dream Chorus” is the latest in a series of triumphs for Lee.

Four months after yet another brain surgery, TOKiMONSTA played at Coachella this year. Her doctor didn’t say that she could play the iconic festival, but they also didn’t say she couldn’t. Lee had been cleared to exercise and be around loud noises, but that’s quite a bit different than a gig at the most famous music festival in the world. She decided against informing her physician of her plans, as she recently told Billboard.

“If that was the last thing I could do before I died, I wanted to make sure I did it.”

Thankfully it didn’t kill her.

It, well, ya know.


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.