If we all had the ability to click our heels and instantly escape the miserable hellscape that is 2020, where would we all go? Would we travel back to a year cherished by our selective memories, or endure a fast-forward leap into (hopefully) better days. Or would we just stay close to home, as we all have done during this never-ending pandemic, and return back to the nest as soon as we stray too far? For London artist Zarif and her bustling new alt-pop joint “Click,” the issue of escapism is less about time travel, and more about finding comfort away from the chaos.
“‘Click’ is about having the rug pulled from under you, being in uncharted territory, finding yourself lost,” says Zarif, summing up our 2020 experience quite nicely. “It’s about getting into survival mode and fight or flight kicking in, all the while trying to find yourself, clicking your heels hoping to find your way back to whatever you call home.”
“Click” also serves as the lead single from Zarif’s forthcoming new EP, Square One, which hits January 29, 2021. The record’s melodic grunge and alt-pop sound marks a bit of a departure for the Jewish-Persian artist who released her major label pop-soul debut album, Box of Secrets, a decade ago, leading to a European tour with Beyoncé on the “I am… Sasha Fierce” UK tour. But it wasn’t all its cracked up to be. “When you’re signed to a major label, everything is a compromise,” Zarif adds. “An album that started out quite raw and rocky ended up being turned into a glossier, poppier end product that I didn’t even recognize when it came out.”
The year ahead should provide a nice glow-up, if “Click” is any indication — and a return to something a little more like home.