Welcome to Boombox Blitz, an artist spotlight series showcasing overlooked singers, songwriters and musicians who are quietly taking over the world.
2016 was the year everything changed. Tragedy befell plenty of us; you or someone you know were touched by catastrophes. Sorrow drifted from your eyes to your heart, scrubbing you numb and leaving you empty. We’ve almost becoming completely dull to senseless rage, plummeting our society further into a cold, fantastical abyss. Shocking headlines aside, the cosmos shifted on a deeply personal level, too, spinning our lives into unmanageable bedlam. Electro-pop singer/songwriter Binx, who hails from South Africa, protests her own pain through her first full-length record, the aptly titled Buzzed, a play on the roller coaster of emotions she endured over the past 12 months. From her father passing away, ahead of the release of her debut EP, The African Bee, last fall to getting her heart trampled on, she dances away the anguish across nine tracks. Sometimes, she’s triumphant. Sometimes, she becomes trapped underneath the rubble. Other times, she barely makes it out alive.
“This love is in slow-motion, with you gone across the ocean,” Binx muses royal about international men and her “Noble” love story, spear-heading the album’s sanguine tone. The rosy Avril Lavigne-bowed “Playing Games” then embraces an untamed relationship’s ephemeral nature between Nintendo clicks and beaming ’80s flairs. “Protest is my melody,” she “Scream”s, taking network TV and partisan sociopolitical coverage to task, crying out, “Yes, yes, media, you brainwashed us dangerously / Sometimes, I don’t know whose thoughts are dictating inside of me.” The hearty percussion stock imitates her heartbeat and fuels her to get lost on the club-floor, glitter flying through her golden locks. “Like a Wave” (her first-ever ballad issue) washes over her abruptly, as she weeps about the demise of a summer fling. “All of your friends talk like this is the end,” she recounts of falling for a well-to-do surfer, who went on to ghost her.
Binx’s crowning moment comes with “Jack Flash,” a bouncy rock anthem dedicated to her father, whose presence is felt palpably throughout the record. “We used to love space and now, it’s between us,” she blasts on the bridge. “What’s the point of singing / You’re not in the audience.” Later, she pulls things back for a tender piano moment, “You’re there in the camera flash / Yeah, the flash / You’re the lightning striking back.” Her father championed her work tirelessly and believed her talent was intended for greatness ⎯⎯ and he was right. She has already collected her first No. 1 radio hit with “Radiohead,” which went to the summit in her home country. Binx stretches her vocal attacks and musical punches on Buzzed, also framed around the campfire-smoked “Disaster” and breezy curtain call “Paradise,” in which she pairs the sleek, ’80s lacquer with mental health unrest: “Looking magazine pretty but inside I’m a mess / Up and down like a sunrise, sunset / We’re only as happy as our last regret.”
“I want people to know that you can go through the most difficult things in your life—whether it’s heartbreak from someone you’ve been in love with or if you are mourning someone you’ve lost. You can get through it. There is a light at the end of the tunnel,” she explained of the album. Binx processes and exchanges her emotions, freeing herself up to finally move on from last year. She will never be completely healed (time has a way of catching up to you), but her past is branded onto her skin. Now, she can look bravely into that good night for her destiny and never forget her roots.
Buzzed is out now on iTunes, and you can spin it below, via Spotify: