Revenge Wife, Pt. II – New Single/Video ‘Manifest’ is Anti-Capitalist Synth-Pop

When we last heard from Revenge Wife (in February) she – Elizabeth Nistico, formerly of HOLYCHILD – was wondering if it would take an earthquake to make someone love her as she deserved to be loved.

Now just six weeks later, Episode 2 of the video lead-up to the release of her upcoming EP Background Songs For Your Boring Life, Part I (which title is seemingly meant to be taken with some combination of literalness and irony) has just arrived, and her attention has turned to the possible death of the American Dream. To be sure, new single ‘Manifest’ is a direct riposte to the unstoppable “don’t dream it, be it” self help culture of acquiring wealth through sheer force of determination; which, of course, is all utter poppycock.

The new track’s bouncy but moody synth-pop comes off like Ladytron as filtered through very early Depeche Mode. And Nistico’s world-weary vocal aplomb distinctly recalls the former band’s Helen Marnie, as she recites a litany of modern world stresses and anxieties, with a diminishing sense of hope.

“I don’t even know myself / How am I supposed to know what’s best?”

In the accompanying video, a curious little horror scene plays out between her and real-life boyfriend/actor John Karna in a desolate cabin in the woods. Indeed, one moment she seems to drugging and kidnapping him. But then as evening falls, he’s suddenly untied and coming at her with a weapon – which is surely a metaphor for everything life seems to be throwing at us right now, from the isolation to the persistent threat of death to the financial anxiety.

“Manifest is an anti-capitalist pop song,” she explains, “inspired by living in LA and just feeling like I didn’t have what I wanted, because I didn’t desire it in the right way. You know what I mean? The lyrics say it all: ‘I don’t really want to make vision boards.’ It’s comical and real and inspired by video games and sputtering ’90s beats.”  

Appropriately, the track closes with the repeated mantra, “Fuck that.” Which, certainly, is the perfect sentiment for these times.

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