Today’s Song: BAD CHILD’s “Desert Island Lover” Is a Blooming Great Summer Single

Bad Child © Paul Mérelle
Rising star BAD CHILD’s latest single “Desert Island Lover” hits a sunny note full of DIY aesthetic and crunchy synths.
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Listen: “Desert Island Lover” – BAD CHILD


With the swagger of a cookie-cutter Robert Sheehan character, 21-year-old Canadian artist BAD CHILD continues to impress with latest single “Desert Island Lover” (released June 14, 2019 via 21 Entertainment). In a departure from the intensity of his previous three songs “Breathing Fire,” “Payback” and “BAD CHILD,” this latest offering is a perfect alternative summer anthem. It is sunny and upbeat with an equally summery music video to accompany and yet BAD CHILD manages to maintain a distinct tinge of darkness which at times feels slightly disorientating.

Desert Island Lover - BAD CHILD

Desert Island Lover – BAD CHILD

The track is definitely a grower with a clinky drum and air-horn-esque opening giving the whole song a real DIY aesthetic before continuing on to build in confidence and texture. The sense of disorientation is created not only by the ramped up, intentionally slightly off-pitch synth sounds but also through the lyrics.

Desert island lover, desert island lover
I can’t get away from you
Desert island lover, desert island lover
I’ll just catch the waves with you
I miss my red wine, cigarettes in the nighttime
My girl makes the moonshine,
she tastes like moonshine
You got me so sick, stuck in a fever dream
We can make believe, we can make believe

Clearly what could on first listen could be perceived as just a simple summer song droning on about daisies, desert islands and frolicking in the waves chimes in on a much deeper level, exploring the more harmful aspects of relationships and the potential feeling of intoxication that can come with it. The later repetition of “It’s a rude awakening, the tide is coming in” only emphasises this further, playing with the notion of an impending tide.

Bad Child

Bad Child

Perhaps most exciting about the prospect of BAD CHILD is his attention to detail. Just as in previous releases, ‘Desert Island Lover’ classifies him as an artist who not only has an ear for a catchy tune but someone with an understanding of what makes a song slick and stylish. His careful consideration of musical texture is a great example of this with moments of musical impact being marked by the changing role of musical lines, take for instance the stripping back of the texture to purely electric bass line and vocals in order to build towards the final chorus creating all manner of tension and showing a clear relish for the theatrical.

This disorientation is exactly what makes it so perplexing for the listener as by darting between the sounds of a summer 2014 Gotye/Bastille indie pop anthem to a deliciously crunchy bass line, the listener is constantly reminded that they are listening to an artist with a particular flair for the dark and dramatic. “Desert Island Lover” is a brilliant step for a great up and coming artist boasting a completely danceable beat and brilliant summery vibe. The complexity of musical subtext is brilliant to hear taking place however, as the impending tide of popularity does indeed grow for BAD CHILD, it would be great delve further into the slightly more dramatic side of his psyche rather than pandering to the popular culture vultures.

Listen: “Desert Island Lover” – BAD CHILD

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Desert Island Lover - BAD CHILD

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Hermione Kellow

Hermione is a twenty-something year old student, currently reading Music at Cambridge University where she is also President of the main University Orchestra. Having grown up surrounded by Music spending her early years backstage of theatres, she has maintained a lifelong passion for live music and discovering new, exciting Artists. Having studied classical Violin since her early years, Hermione has always been involved in musical performance and has an eclectic taste ranging from post-punk to experimental classical music. Hoping to pursue a career in A&R and music journalism, Hermione is always on the lookout for music that is interesting, fresh and a bit wacky!