• Flex Staff

Scottish Castle Parties and Punk Meets Pop: Jenny Alien Makes Heartache Fun in "Heart Attack"


One of the freshest, and most captivating, acts in the live sector is Jenny Alien. With roots traversing the Chicago punk scene, London's hyperpop darlings, and New York City's ever-evolving musical landscape, Alien is anything but predictable. However, the "Jenny Alien Experience" does guarantee one thing: you'll always have fun listening.


Alien's latest single, "Heart Attack," brings all of the electronic trappings of a Charli XCX banger. Then, it twists the sonic narrative on its head, with lyrics detailing a love so intoxicating that even its unattractive traits are worth romanticizing. "I say I hate you,/ then cling to you like bluetooth/ You're my lullaby," she sings.


The obsessive tale is whimsical, but also entirely relatable. The music video, equal parts dark and fun, perfectly captures the story.



We sat down with Jenny Alien to discuss the origins of "Heart Attack," how she's created such a fascinating live persona, and what we can expect next!


 

FLEX: "Heart Attack" blends hyperpop with a more traditional pop sound, while still staying

loyal to your punk roots. How did you develop this unique blend?


JENNY ALIEN: The influence of all these genres happened really naturally for me. I grew up going to raves and playing in punk bands, and carry that energy with me in all the music that I make. Then when I started learning production, I got into hyperpop and pop. Learning how to produce these genres became my own personal challenge because of how meticulous

and impressive they are. But it's not only that- I also just love the ear-candyness of pop

and hyperpop. People tend to be too careful about identifying genres and keeping to them- but where’s the fun in that? I realized a long time ago that I don’t have to make punk music in the traditional sense for the music to have that energy.


Punk is overall, mostly a mentality.

F: The lyrics to this track are so playful and relatable! What was the songwriting process

like?


J: I wrote these lyrics with musician and songwriter Dylan Trenouth, who also helped write

"Dark Summer" on my last album - one of my favorites. We used to have these regular

sessions while I was still living in London and experiment with a lot of different ideas.

It's a really crazy process writing with someone else. Writing is one of the most painful

(but rewarding) processes to go through because of how personal it can get. Like with

"Dark Summer" - it was basically an intense therapy session, and having that outsider

perspective fully allowed me to analyze and write about everything I was going through

at the time (that song was about a breakup). After writing "Dark Summer," Dylan and I wanted to change things up with "Heart Attack," and write a fun and dancey pop song. I remember in the beginning of that session, bonding over our mutual love for Robyn’s "Dancing On My Own" - which is actually pretty melancholy in lyrics, but a total banger. "Heart Attack" does something similar in the sense that it’s actually about a toxic romance - someone you love to hate and hate to love, but keep coming back to. But sonically it’s just a fun pop song that we want people to lose themselves to without necessarily being caught up in the deeper meaning.


F: You said this was your first track produced with others. What was it like creating a track

with a team, rather than on your own?


J: I worked with Milo Gooder and Dylan Trenouth (both from Bluto) on this song, which is

different from what I’m used to because I produce most of my music myself.

Dylan and I will make a demo and give it to Milo, who will then reinterpret and run with

it. They’re both extremely talented and have influenced me a lot in my own practice. As

a producer, it's easy to fall into the same habits so some of my best songs have been

from working with others.

It’s amazing to see the bare bones of a demo get reinterpreted and spit out like a fully new creature, but you can still see the lineage and all of our brains/ideas mashed up in the guts of it.

F: You're known for your live show presence. Can you talk to us about how you set up the

shows, and what you enjoy about performing?


J: Playing live is essential to the Jenny Alien Experience. I mean, a huge reason I make

music is to connect with people (sounds cliche to say, but is really true). When you’re

just sitting behind a screen producing, alone, you can’t do this. And posting it online also

isn't nearly as rewarding as seeing people’s live reactions. The energy from my punk era really comes out during my live shows. Raving, moshing, hugging, laughing... At my best shows, you can just feel the emotion and magic in the crowd.

I give so much of myself to my music and these performances, so seeing people react this way and coming up to me afterwards makes everything completely worth it.

F: The music video for "Heart Attack" is such a fun watch. What was it like filming, and

where did the creative vision come from?


J: Actually... My London friends and I have a bit of a history partying in old buildings. This

one was an old Scottish castle (I’m not kidding), and one of the best weekends of my

life. Naturally we had to shoot a music video there— the stage design was already set. I

shot this video with friend and director Bryson Edward Howe, and another friend Bob

Bobbington who played my love interest, where I devour his heart at the end (spoiler

alert!). The music video was shot very playfully of us running around the castle in the

different outrageous castle rooms, and we wanted it to all look very campy and like an

old horror film.


F: What can we expect from Jenny Alien next?


J: Really excited about a lot of the upcoming music released soon, and live shows. Hope

you come along for the party :)


"Heart Attack" is available across streaming platforms.


Follow Jenny Alien:

Website | Instagram | Facebook | Spotify | YouTube | Bandcamp

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