Slush Puppy Makes an Existential, Transfixing Return With "Billboard"

Photo: Ian Cano

The grass is always greener on the other side, right?

Slush Puppy’s new single, “Billboard,” introduces us to a regular-old-Joe-Schmoe of a character named Bill, who represents everything that the rising alt-pop producer’s life is not. He’s got consistency down to a mind-numbing science, living every monotonous day the same as the last. Although Bill’s life doesn’t sound like the most exciting of times, that’s the point: wouldn’t it be easier to abandon our dreams?

Slush Puppy puppeteers this mingling of melancholy and motivation with a multicolored arrangement. An ambient, picked guitar melody lilts above the droning vocal layers that buzz in fittingly monotone uniformity. While Slush Puppy’s vocals uphold this facade of complacency, the track reveals his inner turmoil. The main hook introduces a nostalgic piano theme that contrasts the driving drums, vividly depicting the controlled anxiety of “Billboard.”

“His balls’ in the shed where the noose is / and the truth is / sometimes I wish I was Bill...” This kaleidoscopic arrangement allows listeners to hear what Slush Puppy is feeling; it’s the fear of failure, the exhaustion of the grind, and the out-of-body surrealness of success all at the same time. “Billboard” is the adrenaline high of hard work paying off and simultaneously the comedown, the emptiness of knowing you have to start again tomorrow.

Fitting into his intentional blurring of genre lines, “Billboard” matures Slush Puppy’s sound with its honest, although cynical, outlook. The hardened edge of this alternative, rap-adjacent single is an exciting gesture of what Slush Puppy has in store for us this year.

Listen to "Billboard" below:

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