Today’s Song: Madame So Takes the Generational Torch on “Generation Y”

Madame So © 2020
Madame So © 2020
Madame So’s “Generation Y” is ‘90s grunge ran through the malaise and anxiety of the new decade.
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Stream: “Generation Y” – Madame So

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Madame So’s rock makes you snap to attention. You can’t slouch or even half-listen to a sound as powerful and self-assured as this. But how could it be anything else; London’s Madame So is an extremely talented woman doing exactly what she’s supposed to do. It’s empowering to see and joyous to hear.

Generation Y - Madame So
Generation Y – Madame So

May saw the young punk release “Generation Y,” continuing her bid to be the new Courtney Love — in sound, at least. A grungy takedown of the tension between generations, it’s lyrically smart and musically ambitious. “‘Generation Y’ is a reflection on how younger generations are perceived by their older counterparts and how this judgement snowballs from generation to generation,” says the Paris-born, London-based singer. “Every older generation seems to resent the younger, more forward-thinking ones, forgetting they too were once the younger generation, and part of progress in the making.”

Although it begins with a simple strummed riff, it ends with a pounding drum beat behind controlled, post-punk chaos. While all of it is amazing, the real magic is the journey between them. So’s voice is equal parts PJ Harvey and Blondie, sounding like a “fuck you” with a smile. Meanwhile the music has the foreboding rhythm of the Smashing Pumpkins, with just enough Hole distortion to make it stick in the mind. She’s taken all the sounds of the previous generations and made them her own—with a little twist.

Madame So
Madame So © 2020

The youngest of youth are moving fast
They’re fast and furious: they call it lust for life
They come back and forth from the ladies and the gents
For what it’s worth, they embrace the pretense
Barely eighteen and all they’ve seen
is love for lust, above any trust

They know all the tricks- the old folks are backwards:
After Generation X, comes Generation Y…

A proud member of Generation Y, she captures their ever-quickening pace of life and the undeniable sexualization of society. The lyrics are subtle—a repetition of the word lust, the denigration of trust which is something that affects every corner of our lives—but powerful. These lyrics sink in more and more with each listen, earning her the reputation as the 21st century’s Patti Smith.

Madame So © 2020
Madame So © 2020

She hits her peak in the second verse, with the repetitive idea of “lust for death” — possibly the two most dominant themes of the younger generation — combined and played off each other. It’s beautiful, powerful, and epic.

The youngest of youth have got lust for death,
they’ve got lust for death,
they’ve got lust for death…
We see you

“Generation Y” is ’90s grunge ran through the malaise and anxiety of the new decade, and Madame So is the perfect artist to take the torch from the previous generation and run with it — if they’re willing to hand it over.

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Stream: “Generation Y” – Madame So

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Generation Y - Madame So

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