NOT THE MAIN CHARACTERS Bottle Up Their Tears on the Iridescent "evian"
Photo: Jared Ayotte
The next wave of music is likely to be built around an acute self-awareness, reveling in both poignant vulnerability and the act of tongue-in-cheek self-derision. At least that's the case made by NOT THE MAIN CHARACTERS, whose music evokes everything from the iridescent far-off future PC Music originally spoke of to a particular brand of TikTok era humor.
Comprised of college friends Gabi Gotts, Perrin Xthona, and Tammy Gonzales, NOT THE MAIN CHARACTERS was originally birthed more so out of necessity than any at the time tangible desire to build out an artist project. Coming together over Zoom during the peak of quarantine, the foundation of the soon-to-be trio served as a creative outlet, a place for the girls to explore left-field topics of conversation and escape the increasing mundanity that had become life under lockdown. It was only after the release of their debut single, "pretty girl probz," that NOT THE MAIN CHARACTERS became an unshakeable reality.
And a handful of singles we arrive at "evian (boohoo!)," a pitch-perfect demonstration of the infectious nature of hyperpop maximalism. Opening on the line "Drop drop drop like diamonds/Bling bling bling when I'm crying," over a bubbling, manic soundscape, NOT THE MAIN CHARACTERS waste no time in setting the tone for what's to come. Over the course of the following two-or-so minutes, the girls trade water bottle-themed verses that flow seamlessly between effortless wit and genuinely tender.
"We wrote ‘evian (boohoo!)' at the end of a busy month of back to back sessions and we were all feeling pretty exhausted that day,“ shares NOT THE MAIN CHARACTERS. "Perrin made a joke about bottling up our tears like an Evian bottle and in response, our collaborator, Alice Longyu Gao, immediately sang what would become the first two lines of the song: 'drop drop drop like diamonds, bling bling bling when I'm crying.' The song is about making light of whatever everyday stresses you've got going on, and turning it into an aesthetic - like tears into diamonds. Similar to the 2014 Tumblr era of romanticizing sadness, writing 'evian (boohoo!)' was our way of laughing at ourselves and turning our emotional baggage into a Louis luggage set. The song looks at the way we process sadness in a satirical way, and the bubbly contrast of hyperpop sonics illustrates the concept farther. The day we wrote 'evian (boohoo!)', we left the session feeling so frickin excited because we all felt like the song accurately expressed the manic static in our minds."
"evian," with its glittering, racing soundscape and painfully self-aware songwriting, is a track that begs to be played on repeat, and it may just be my favorite dose of hyperpop this year. Whoever said less is more has clearly never listened to NOT THE MAIN CHARACTERS.
Listen to "evian (boohoo!)" below: