Humans have been contemplating the big questions of “What does it all mean?” and “Why are we here?” since the beginning of time. These questions have only been amplified since the entire world shut down in 2020. But they’re usually accompanied by strict, stuffy strings and a bassline of hopelessness. Some even claim to know the answers. Canadian-born, Los Angeles-based singer, songwriter, and artist BXB LOVE (pronounced Bob Love) contemplates these same questions in her trilogy of singles “matrix,” “IGNORANCE SONG,” and “Losers,” and existentialism has never sounded so fun.
LOVE’s debut single “matrix” reflects that conventional exhaustion with trying to exist within the program. It’s a cry for escape set over soft acoustics and bare percussion. Where LOVE stands apart lies in how she confronts the contradiction of her desires. In one breath she wishes she wasn’t “so basic” and that she was “better at something.” In the next, she wishes she “didn’t care about nothing.” Later, in the chorus, she calls herself out and calls attention to the never-ending cycle, singing “To tell the truth, I’ve been using the same excuses/Going round in the same old looping.” She takes responsibility for her existence, culminating in an admirable self-awareness often missing from rebel songs.
After the honest lamentation in “matrix,” LOVE fully wakes in her second single “IGNORANCE SONG,” hence the shift from all lowercase to all uppercase. Gentle acoustics are traded for serrated electric guitars, steady percussion for free hand clapping. Where “matrix” was fearful of the unknown, “IGNORANCE SONG” embraces it. As a 20-something in the year 20-something, LOVE releases the need for certainties and encourages listeners to do the same with her coarse, anthemic vocals. It’s a rager without the rage; it’s ignorant bliss at its most middle-finger-to-society. It’s youthful without being juvenile because of the foundation laid by “matrix.”
That social callout comes to a head in LOVE’s third and latest single “Losers,” which dropped in June. It’s a sort of convergence of the first two singles, manifesting first in the upper and lowercase letters. It’s as if she’s emerged from “matrix,” come down from the high of “IGNORANCE SONG,” and settled back on earth with what she’s learned: “we’re all fucking losers.” Rhythmic guitars shake hands with straightforward drums and share a three-way kiss with gentle, neon synths. LOVE’s vocals are cheeky, breezy, spry, as she sings “It’s time to rip off the band-aid, babe, and smile through the pain.” If the feeling of the breeze through your fingers as you speed down the freeway was a song, it would be “Losers.”
The combination of all three singles echoes the background truth that everyone is doing life for the first time. Of course, different experiences lend different skills we can share with others who may go through the same thing, but we’re all just trying this life thing out one day at a time and hoping for the best. No matter how old you are, every day is new and there’s always more to learn. There’s too much to know to ever truly know it all.