Whether you like it or not, indie sleaze is making a comeback: an era full of mismatched American Apparel, Tumblr, un-ironic mustache finger tattoos and flash photography soundtracked by Sky Ferreira, Crystal Castles and the entirety of Ed Banger Records' roster. The mid to late 2000s aesthetic is experiencing a revival, largely thanks to TikTok at the moment, and Gen Z is waking up to all the post-Y2K hipster awkwardness.
Leaning into the nostalgia, LA-based Basque producer, singer and self-ascribed "bad boy," Matiss Evreoux, and singer and underground it-girl, Ah-Mer-Ah-Su, are back with a new visual for their latest single, "Don't Break Me Down." Featuring glassy synths, watery ambiance and a laidback beat, the indie-pop cut puts Evreoux's dynamic vocals center as he airs out his insecurities with Ah-Mer-Ah-Su providing the self-assured counterbalance in a playful back-and-forth between the two.
Drawing on the DIY ethos of indie sleaze with a minimal photoshoot backdrop, the music video plays into the common themes of vanity and cheap celebrity that pervaded the aesthetic, from shirtless flexing to a blasé, disinterested look at a cellphone while remaining firmly the center of attention.
Of course, indie sleaze was not without its problematic moments (Terry Richardson, Dov Charney, questionable appropriation), but the nice thing about a revival is that hindsight can often dish out a form of restorative justice. There's a certain power in seeing two queer artists reclaim the era and make it all their own.
Watch Matiss Evreoux and Ah-Mer-Ah-Su's "Don't Break Me Down," off In Broken Mirrors My Reflection is Clear, out now.
Photo via YouTube
- Ah-Mer-Ah-Su Covers Frank Ocean's "Thinkin Bout You" - PAPER ›
- Ah-Mer-Ah-Su's Top 10 Summer Anthems - PAPER ›