There’s an unusually dark demeanor to Queens singer/producer George Clanton’s new track, “Kill You In Bed.” Released beneath his electronica outfit Mirror Kisses, the song pounds with heated aggression and sludgy synths that recall early 80’s New Order, only with a more somber, murky quality. Toward the end, Clanton abandons his throaty vocals to play with an instrumental finale that feels wonderfully light and wistful, more so reminiscent of his previous releases under Mirror Kisses. This standout single, which we’re premiering exclusively below via Bullett, comes stocked with a digital b-side called, “Little Heart Surrender,” as well.
We caught up with Clanton to discuss his disparate musical references, being unfortunately referred to as, “an ’80s throwback” and letting his darkness out through music.
How do you describe your sound?
“I’ve called my music, ‘alternative pop,’ but lately I’ve started describing it as “electronica.” I like the vagueness of ‘electronica.’ I don’t want to be pigeonholed as a certain kind of artist. In fact, this new song is grounded in the idea that I refuse to make the same kind of thing over again. I pull sonic references from everywhere—I’m not copying anyone specifically or trying to fit into one particular sound, but I’ve certainly pulled from things like Scott Walker, early ’90s breakbeat hardcore, The Smiths, Sade and 18 Carat Affair. All of that is in my music, but I don’t think it sounds like any one of those artists singularly.”
Your work feels subtly nostalgic—is this a fair observation?
“I think it’s fair—I listen to mostly older music and you are what you eat. I only get upset when people call my music ‘an ’80s throwback.’ They mean well, but I think that belittles what I’m doing. The way I sing is out of fashion, so people recognize me as an ’80s style crooner. Throw synths on top of everything and people that are into ’80s music cling to it tightly. I’m into ’80s music too, but I’ve cut out my own style. I’m making a new kind of song.”
Talk about the story behind, “Kill You In Bed.”
“Originally, I was writing what ended up being the extra long coda for this song. I’d written a verse and chorus for it, which sounded good, but i was bored with everything the second it was finished. The song felt like something I’d done before, so I ended up taking everything out except the drum beat and rewrote the song from the perspective of making something I’d like to perform live—something intense. I turned off my brain and let the song write itself. It’s not autobiographical. I don’t want to kill anyone and I generally enjoy my life, but it’s a lot of fun to just shout and let some darkness out.”