Fraxiom is "Winning, Son" With Their New EP, 'Feeling Cool And Normal'

Waltzing out of bed and mashing together their second masterful EP of the year, Fraxiom is one of the hardest working hyperpop artists in the scene up there with the likes of Charli XCX and A.G. Cook. Sonically vast and fiercelessly vagrant, Feeling Cool And Normal packs punch after punch of humor under weighty and crunchy bass-laden tracks.

Cover of Fraxiom's EP, Feeling Cool and Normal

Feeling Cool and Normal cover courtesy of Fraxiom

The dichotomy between Fraxiom’s sheer alienation with the larger world and their clever delivery in both songwriting and instrumentation comprises the majority of this EP and just how star-crossed it gets. At one moment, they can be fluttering about vivid and surreal cradlings of love in “This Guitar,” whereas the next features them denouncing the cishet masses and untangling their own duality at the road between success and self-satisfaction, as seen in “cishets (i don’t want it at all).”

It’s at this standoff that makes Feeling Cool And Normal such a gushing and revelatory take on inner schism all while putting out work that fires on every cylinder in this nine and a half minute shootout of an EP.

And, well, let’s just say Fraxiom’s glittery revolver was slicked with the freshest sheen of gun oil.

As mentioned previously, the album sets out with “cishets (i don’t want it at all),” which tackles self-doubt coupled with fame. Fraxiom brags, but in such a humble and unassuming way on this track.

Fraxiom can make “your bitch wet,” yet they “never really wanted to,” as they sing so hesitantly yet confidently. And the line, “my bed is comfortable but that's a problem, I love my room and I hate that I am awesome” carries with it sentiments of lacking any drive or motivation to pull themselves out of a given slump, all the while begrudgingly reasserting that they are stunning and more than capable of making explosive work. (Gee, I wonder how their recent stuff turned out?)

Immediately following the first track, we are greeted by “burnout,” a minute long track with screeching horns accompanying a mental breakdown that bounces between the realm of normalcy and uhh… everything that comes after it.

In fact, umru is the producer on this EP, so the comedy becomes even funnier as you peel apart the turmoil facing Fraxiom in this… song. It almost throws you back to the start of Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Up,” where a party is going on among all the dialogue, ramping bass, and melodic horns, just for Fraxiom in a unique kind of way, to say the least.

Can’t brush over the “Are you winning, son?” line, though. This EP was already in knee-slapper territory, but that hits it far and over the fence for a grand slam right into my bedroom. Thanks for the signed baseball, Fraxiom!

Once “This Guitar” hits, it doesn’t stop swirling around your head. The rhythmic guitar strums soon turn all grimed-out with a dollop of distortion to help the track go down as a hyperpop ballad of sorts. Spelled out to Fraxiom’s partner in the form of them literally playing guitar and singing to them, Fraxiom’s lyrics dream of a blossoming love where both parties just give in to the feelings they have for each other.

“This Guitar” is meta and endearingly sweet even when sifting through the tidal waves of chunky, distorted clanks and breaks of an amp being blown up inside out. It's easily the essential track of the album, marking its ground as the surefire playlist attendee for anyone to lend it an ear. A nearly fully acoustic, heartfelt final outro at the end of the track is enough to make your heart bounce with exultation, but, hot damn, Fraxiom knows not only how to strum the guitar strings, but those of our hearts as well.

From here, the EP closes out on the yearnful “fly with ü,” culminating in a final address of Fraxiom’s fame that features some of the greatest lines on the entire project. Animal Crossing snags a cameo, J.K. Rowling gets stomped, and Spotify’s “HYPERPOP” playlist is alluded to.

It’s even funnier when you realize Fraxiom makes not one but two appearances on the playlist, revealing just how far they have come in this small window of time alone. I wasn’t kidding when I mentioned Cook and Charli earlier, as they appear right alongside them on the playlist and, recently, Cook’s Appleville stream. Fraxiom is hitting a real stride and this EP is a testament to their work ethic.

As you cut through the jungle of clanky, concrete-shattering bass in addition to the crushing percussion, you’ll come across the heart of what makes Feeling Cool And Normal such a snappy and endlessly replayable EP. Fraxiom somehow managed to cram such expansive and soul-searching lyrics that comment on underlying strife through hilarious and oftentimes saddening duality into an EP that doesn’t even breach the ten minute mark.

After packing your bags to leave, you’ll be sure to take one or all the songs (take or leave “burnout” of course) with you to your quaint playlist on the prairie and jam out as you see fit, just the way Fraxiom would want you to. It’s a triumph that an EP tackling both sides of a mentally artistic conundrum could come out so on top of its vision with all the same “hesitant confidence” hinted at prior.

Just remember: no matter how hard you thrash about, you’re still on your bed and the boxspring was already broken down from the last time Frax released an EP. When your dad comes in to tell you to quiet down, or in this case, to ask if you’re winning, kindly remind him to “get out, [and] close the door behind [him],” in the words of Fraxiom.

Post a Comment

My Instagram

Copyright © Ringtone Mag.