The artists' new collaboration, "Messin' Me Up," certainly fits the bill. Released October 28th via Sweat It Out and Counter Records, and written with Martin Doherty of CHVRCHES, it features What So Not's classic production style at its finest.
The song was first conceptualized in 2019, during the devastating Australian bushfires. Through that lens, "Messin' Me Up" tells a tale of perseverance and self-reflection via smooth layers of bass, lofty synths and epic chants. Paired with saturated drums and GIIA's commanding tone, it's pressure-packed with an additional message about our impact on the environment.
"This record is a giant crescendo. Beginning sparse & sombre, it evolves into an operatic onslaught of vocals & hardware," What So Not wrote in a press release. "The thematics showcase the virulent tendencies of humankind: chaotic turmoil in everything from relationships to the environment."
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"Messin' Me Up" comes paired with an apocalypse-themed music video co-directed by Jordan Chappell and What So Not himself. According to the artist, it manifests man-made environmental disasters from the earth's point of view.
2021 notably marks the 10-year anniversary of the What So Not project, which is spearheaded by Christopher Emerson. A year-long hiatus concluded in April with the release of "The Change" (with DMA'S), and "Messin' Me Up" has brought him full circle.
"This song is like reading a diary entry from end 2019. Reminding me that as we come back to somewhat normality there is a lot that needs to be done outside our own little sphere," What So Not wrote on social media. "For all the negatives & positives that came with a pandemic, I am reminded today how much it has pushed me inward, into isolation, introversion & certainly narrowed the scope of what I could focus on & what I could do."