Seraphina Simone began writing original songs as a way to transform her childhood musical upbringing into a canvas for the inevitably life-changing experiences of adulthood. While the rising indie pop artist doesn’t have a stack of albums under her belt just yet, she does have an impressive range of influences she draws from, including Bat for Lashes, Human League, Blondie, and Lorde. On her newest single, though, Simone channels her inner St. Vincent to create the dark alt-pop hit that is “Hollywood $$$”.
This is the second song Simone has released so far, following her debut single “Cherry <8”. While that track earned her digital hype via tastemaker playlists, it’s “Hollywood $$$” that sounds like a verifiable breakout hit. Perhaps its because Simone makes a sharpe critique of the very industry she’s infiltrating in a way that can’t be denied.
“’Hollywood $$$’ is about the Lynchian, fame-obsessive undercurrents of tinsel town, with its sirens, starlets, leeches & letches,” said Simone in a statement. “It’s about that world of smoke and mirrors, where nothing and no one is really as it seems, and the world of celebrity, where we deify or demonize people into these super-humans or arch villains. It’s about how seductive fame can be, how it’s something we all envision in the back of our minds — the perfect life without money worries where everyone loves us and we can do whatever we want — but it comes at a huge price and can destroy you if you chase it too hard. Kim Gordon mentions ‘tarantula LA glamour’ in Girl In A Band, and that sums it up perfectly I think — the predatory darkness under the glitz.”
“Hollywood $$$” sees Simone singing in a dream-pop style that recalls ’80s greats as much as it does modern-day acts. Arguably the biggest comparison to make, however, is Annie Clark, as Simone melds a similar style of guitar-driven pop, synth choruses, and elastic yet brooding vocals. On first listen, it almost sounds like a B-side from Strange Mercy. Stream it below.