denise t is a 15-year old songwriter from Queens, NY, and her first collection of songs entitled sour cream queen might be the most endearing I’ve heard this year. A public diary of sorts, denise t rummages through the everyday or roving thoughts in her head but easily relatable instances. With bedroom music’s intimacy and the sharp wit associated with anti-folk (a la Kimya Dawson and 100% f.k.a WHATEVER DAD), there’s a lot to take in for such a short and simple record.
On “whatever”, Denise dwells on the momentary high school crush, admiring weird weather (“I love this weather / it’s sunny and raining at the same time / it reminds me of all the changes that I feel inside inside”) and light pollution. A simple medley of chords played with effervescent strumming feels apt Denise’s quirky storytelling. On songs like “pam from the office”, denise is able to take a seemingly insignificant hiccup in life and make it captivating, jumping from a butterknife mishap, to a high school crush and knuckle cracking to suppress her anxieties. “blush” is a quietly devastating track about trying to move on with resonating lines like “I think it’s fucking scary / how people can live their lives without saying goodbye”. Her anecdotal songwriting reminds me of Frankie Cosmos and Jeffrey Lewis, who are able to unpack their brains and craft them into pop vignettes that are engaging. Simplicity and non-deviating repetition hits hard on “temporary tattoos (last forever)”. An ode to her best friend with a memorable line in “I wish i could erase all my feelings / or at least make them look pretty”, I could only describe the song as “adorably desolate”.
On her first album, it sounds like denise has been around for a while, but her age says otherwise. A collection of simple songs, sour cream queen is gushing with charm and affecting wit, making it one of my favorite bedroom pop records on the year.
Cereal Pairing: Rice Krispies