ETHEL CAIN – ” Preacher’s Daughter “

Posted: July 22, 2022 in MUSIC

The brooding, building pop of Ethel Cain. Potentially “pop music’s next great obsession” according to many, Cain is a 24-year-old woman building a mysterious persona alongside layered synth-pop — with shades of The Weeknd, Caroline Polacheck, and Perfume Genius. Shimmering anthem “American Teenager” is the standout jam from her debut album, while “A House In Nebraska” is more representative of her overall slow-burn style.

As a fictitious alter-ego named Ethel Cain, singer/songwriter/producer Hayden Silas Anhedönia makes music so eerily personal that the line between character creation and lived experience becomes utterly blurred. She is, on one hand, as real and relatable as any post-teenage mid-American retaliating against her conservative Christian upbringing, and on the other, an unsettling creature inhabiting that soul— an uncannily perfect approximation of personage adopting her surroundings via chameleonic metachrosis. Entirely self-produced, “Preacher’s Daughter” is to be the first entry in a trilogy spanning film, books, and albums, and even by itself, feels poised to define an era of resolutely unique and unreplicable superstars.

Hayden Anhedönia aka Ethel Cain Recalled the concept behind “Preacher’s Daughter” a cautionary tale of what happens if you don’t break a cycle and you let it continue to almost a ruinous point. “Gibson Girl” arrives about three-quarters into the record, and finds the character Ethel being exploited for sex in a strip club. Whether intentional or not, the song doubles as a bleak gender-inversion of the Weeknd’s “Wicked Games,” whose melody it seems to draw on, causing us to consider the perspective of the subject to whom that song was directed— even while positioning it as an atmospheric backdrop to scenes like these.

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