With ‘Heart Ego’, Sunniva Lindgaard, a.k.a. Sassy 009, invites us into her bedroom. On the mixtape’s cover, we sneak a peek into the Norwegian artist’s organized clutter. A wall gives off retro teenage vibes; Gummo, Britney Spears, Sugababes, and Dazed and Confused posters abut sketches, a stretched canvas, and other pubescent memorabilia. Below, Lindgaard — who’s a Cancer, the Zodiac’s signature homebody — lolls on the bed, her face propped up by stiletto-nail bearing hands. She looks into the camera with subtle defiance; she’s about to tell us what’s on her mind.
And she does. In less than thirty minutes, Lindgaard takes us on a tour of her mental chambers. Her bedside table confessions aren’t of the risqué variety (besides ‘Here Comes The Weekend’, which hints at a pretty PG-13 hook-up). Instead, the 25-year-old spills sometimes deep, often heartwarmingly petty thoughts that depict the puzzling tug-of-war of contemporary love, with notes of Scandi synth pop, thunderous techno and hyper R&B.
Since so much of our romantic chronology takes place virtually these days, it checks out that Lindgaard’s lyrics take on the stream of consciously-banal timbre of tweets. Songs like ‘Mystery Boy’ and ‘Red Plum’ paint typical Internet-age situations. On the first, she waits for a sign from the eponymous enigma that is the object of her attention. In the music video, Lindgaard, who studied sports in high school, bides time by snowboarding and fucking around with friends. With a backdrop of rollercoaster-ride, staccato beats, she describes him “live posting on the ‘Gram,” wearing new shoes, “Walking outside with the boys”… anything but calling her back. In a moment of oh so relatable frustration, she sings, “I’m not a psycho, I’m just a little annoyed.”
On the moodier ‘Red Plum’, the singer narrates another modern romance: her relationship with her phone. The virtual apparatus is “Always available,” “Stealing her late nights,” and “Acting like a friend,” — sounds about right. And although it’s more about ambiguous relationships, boundaries, and a sick guitar riff intro than the Internet, ‘It’s Complicated’ gets an honorable mention for its title, which harks back to Facebook relationship statuses of middle school lore.
Since 2017’s ‘Do You Mind’, Sassy 009 has dealt with the inevitability of being left behind in relationships. In that EP, the hit single is titled ‘Are you leaving’. On ‘Feel me’, the singer is in preparation mode : “Promise me that you’ll leave me one day / So I can watch a better way.” But on this mixtape’s ‘Blue Racecar’, Lindgaard takes the initiative. She sings, “When I saw your eyes, my goodbye was flying in,” and describes zooming off in the title’s cerulean vehicle “flippin’ [her] hair.” #Growth, amirite?
Before I leave you, I must mention two gems that stuck out to me. The slower, more “in my feelings” ‘Wannabe’ is a dancing in your underwear in front of the mirror power ballad. It also contains my favourite lyric: “I wanna see you, but it’s never a slow dance / Being with you is like a punch in you know where.” And the opening ‘Forever Seventeen’ (never underestimate a good intro) drops listeners into a chaotically lush soundscape from which Lindgaard’s voice materializes like a sonic hologram. It’s darker and messier than the rest of the mixtape, perhaps reminding us that, beyond the confines of any bedroom, there’s a turbulent world out there.
Words: Ella Martin-Gachot
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