Back in 2020, Rina Sawayama made the hell that was Covid-19 quarantine just a little more bearable with her eclectic and highly entertaining debut album, Sawayama. Mixing electroclash with indie rock with disco and Bollywood, Sawayama was a completely fresh look at pop music from a true original.
Now, that original talent is returning to show us more. That’s because today Sawayama has dropped the first single off her upcoming sophomore album Hold the Girl with the dancey ‘This Hell’. The single seems to be what Sawayama was alluding to when she briefly posted the message “Rina Sawayama Is Going To Raise Hell” before wiping her Instagram account earlier in the month.
With references to Britney Spears, Princess Diana, and Whitney Houston, ‘This Hell’ sounds like the most dancefloor-ready version of eternal damnation ever put to record. As poppy and over-the-top as Sawayama has ever been, ‘This Hell’ contains an earworm of a chorus and a wild shredding guitar solo after a quasi-rap vocal breakdown. The entire song is a throwback to an older style of song arrangement, with less emphasis on frenetic genre-hopping and more attention paid to hooks.
“I’m so excited to finally share the first song of the new era,” she wrote in a tweet. “I wanted to write a western pop song that celebrated COMMUNITY and LOVE in a time where the world seemed hellish. This Hell is better with you.”
Although ‘This Hell’ might be a little too sleek for some, the track should get its proper due for being unabashed in its delivery. This is pure pop, with strong feelings of early Lady Gaga, current Miley Cyrus, and even some ’80s hair metal just for good measure. But most importantly, it feels distinctly like Rina Sawayama, fitting nicely into her still-growing discography and nothing her another damn catchy single.
Check out the audio for ‘This Hell’ down below. Hold the Girl is set to be released on September 2nd.