Royal & The Serpent Laments a Taste For Everything Toxic on "Phuckboi Rejects"

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Photo: Conner Sorrensen

Dripping with early-2000s pop-punk nostalgia, Royal & The Serpent is back with her latest explosive single "Phuckboi Rejects" to remind us all of that one slimy ex we love to hate - and keep crawling back to.

Royal is known for her gritty vocals, passionately emotional narratives, and lyrics with an unrelenting bite, and her latest single is no exception. "Phuckboi Rejects" is a lament of the hopeless addiction to the worst type of boys, the "Bleached hair/Puff Bar/Couldn't win in a fight" brand of narcissist, as Royal aptly sings. The single is set to appear on Royal's upcoming EP, If I Died Would Anyone Care ¸ due January 28.

Exploding with hyperpop-reminiscent production effects as screeching guitars crash into lyrics like "only a masochist would ask for this," the song reflects on the internal struggle that often dominates Royal's lyrical themes. While the addictive rush of pursuing said "Phuckboi Rejects" commands the blistering piece in all its blustery glory, the grim reality of pining for toxic partners strikes a stark chord as the song ends with nearly ten seconds of Royal groaning and coughing.

Royal & The Serpent has described herself as a representation of her contradicting, coexisting personality: a "sweet sunshine angel" and a "freaky devil maniac." If the perfectly angsty accompanying video is any indication, the freaky devil maniac certainly won this round. Set in a psychiatric ward, the video incorporates themes of claustrophobia, hypersexuality, and mania that help to frame the song's frenzied lyrics. Shots alternate of Royal sitting at a table by a dingy window, thrashing on a thin bed in a stark-white room, and hunched in a hallway as orderlies force her into a straitjacket. Not-thinly-veiled scenes of Royal and her current phuckboi depict them ravishing each other, though he ultimately abruptly disappears as Royal is dragged down the hall.

The enigmatic singer again plays on themes of duality with the casting of the object of her ill-fated affections: a man with a strikingly similar build, tattoos, and even hairstyle as our heroine. Is it our own projected insecurities that lead us to seek these toxic partners? Royal won't be spelling it out for us, but that's probably the point.

On the surface, Royal & The Serpent has delivered a delectable jaunt through the regrettably intoxicating woes of having a soft spot for those "obnoxious kind of toxic" boys, but the emotional depth of struggling with unmet expectations and unspoken insecurities makes "Phuckboi Rejects" just as irresistible as its subject matter.  

Watch the "Phuckboi Rejects" video below:

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