Bubblegoth Queen Kerli has arrived to start everyone’s new year off right — with some ‘joy’ful new music. “Searched deep and far in the darkness and came back with JOY,” Kerli tweeted in a preview of the new song ’21st Century Kids.’
Released today, ’21st Century Kids’ sees Kerli at the top of her game, both sonically and visually with what teasers have come so far (the track’s music video is scheduled to premiere February 8.) The song features the hallmark style that has come to define Kerli and her music, but it also shows growth and evolution from her earlier works.
While her most recent release, 2019’s Shadow Works, went darker and more eerie, ’21st Century Kids’, with its bubblegum pink JOY aesthetics seems to be shifting more towards the light-hearted times that fans of her Utopia will be sure to cherish. Considering Utopia is still regularly on my music rotation nearly ten years after its release shows how Kerli is truly capable of making music that is timeless, joyful, and fun.
’21st Century Kids’ is a track likely to have as much longevity as Utopia. Lyrically, Kerli has always been one to weave imagery with her words, using her unique perspective on life and limitless talents to take the listener on a sonic journey.
’21st Century Kids’ shows a deeper side of Kerli, one who has shared her struggles in battling the music industry’s ridiculous beliefs of needing to be ‘forever young.’
“What doesn’t kill you makes you humble/ No one can be forever young, no,” she sings, adding, “I’ll throw my middle one up in the air / ‘Cause fuck it, I’m doing the best that I can here.”
’21st Century Kids’ is surely an ode to the millennials who yearn to still feel young, powerful and free, despite society telling them that there’s a certain path and certain milestones they should have accomplished by now.
Other powerful lyrics in the song include “Only thanks to my fake friends/ I know which ones are ’til the end,” and the songs opening lyrics: “We left our homes, went to cities/ Grass was greener, skies were pretty / Dreams were big and money low.”
As always, Kerli is a lighthouse in the dark for those with big dreams, reminding them that no matter what life throws their way, they are not alone.
With ’21st Century Kids’ introducing a larger scale comeback for Kerli, 2023 is looking to be an amazing year. Kerli may not churn out music like a factory — and I think it’s safe to say she doesn’t want to — but when her music does come it is always a little chef’s kiss from her to her moonchildren. And with Kerli using ’21st Century Kids’ to show that she’s been spending her time out of the spotlight fine-tuning and perfecting her signature style, it’s safe to say the best is yet to come!
Listen to ’21st Century Kids’ below and on all streaming platforms now.