Right off the bat: Marlo the Barbarian is probably the coolest and most bad-ass new artist moniker we’ve heard so far in 2021. But instead of this being some stoner rock or Euro metal project, it’s actually the nom de plume of a rising Los Angeles alt-pop singer who hits with a vengeance today (May 7) through a two-track EP titled Blue Roses.
The one-two punch is fueled by the stargazing sonic enhancement of new single “Real Friends Fake Friends,” which centers around themes suggested explicitly by its title: “I’ve had a lot of bad friendships and let a lot of people take advantage of me,” says Marlo. “The song is me speaking up and saying, ‘This type of energy isn’t welcome here anymore.’”
Together with flickering companion track “Holy Again,” Marlo the Barbarian’s Blue Roses traverses a wide range of styles and genres in just under seven minutes, all tied together by a certain magnetism that speaks to her drama and acting background.
“The EP is titled Blue Roses, which is a reference to Laura’s nickname in The Glass Menagerie,” Marlo adds. “In the play, Laura has pleurisy and is nicknamed Blue Roses by a friend as a mispronunciation of her disease. She likes the nickname, admiring its uniqueness and allure, saying that blue is wrong for roses, but right for her. For me it symbolizes the same, stepping into my light and seeing my own uniqueness. Both tracks on this EP symbolize the beginning and end of a journey to self-acceptance and realization.”
Listen to Blue Roses below, and gaze upon the face-to-face video for “Real Friends Fake Friends” after the jump.