The idea of saying “fuck it” to your shit job and taking your rock band on the road sounds like the stuff of teen fantasies and cult ’80s movies, or at the very least a nominally bad idea. But it’s 2018 and all bets are off—and if you have even a small fraction of the talent that friend-of-Jezebel TOMI does, you’re gonna be doing fine.
The New York-based artist carries herself with a rock star’s poise and sense of bombast, as well as a near-perfect pitch (though not technically perfect pitch, she told Jezebel on a recent visit to our studio). A bulk of the songs she’s currently performing, including some on her recently released What Kind of Love EP, were written during and about the time she was stuck at a dead-end job where apparently bougie (my word, not hers) coworkers treated her like basura. To wit, the breezy pop single “Every Morning I Feel Like Running Away” imbues aspiration to a kind of deadened, Office Space-style malaise, giving herself the space to dream and yelp within her nine-to-five routine. It’s an even happier ending that you know she actually got to fulfill that dream, which she detailed to Jezebel in the video above.
“The new music is more extroverted in general,” said TOMI, named for her childhood lizard (RIP). “It’s really about finding yourself and finding your footing.” She’s been playing guitar since she was seven, she told Jezebel, and has been writing songs for about that long, too; at 12, she wrote a song about being in love with her best friend called “Black and Blue, Needing You,” which she describes as “the most emo shit ever,” she said—and that sense of intensity seems to have carried on into adulthood. For the “What Kind of Love” video, released in late May, she splits the distance between new wave and shredding, giving us neon anthems inside some kind of Yves Saint Laurent-style disco with a kohl-rimmed glare.
It’s party music for people who love anytime after midnight and lightweight want to kick stuff for fun (aka me).