Releasing on the 28th of May this year “I like it when you're mean” is the latest provocative dark pop offering from Manchester artist Luke Lovekin. Featuring vocals from Emma Hargreaves and produced by Beck Clewlow this bedroom project is as sexy as it is catchy.
Luke portrays an enticing serial lover and lust incarnate, the interplay of his and Emma’s vocals feeling intimate, dirty and yet egotistical in the very best way. Luke continues this theme through the fashion campaign aesthetic of the record, bravely invoking Vogue like shots of his piercing smoulder within his artwork. This unadulterated sex appeal seems to me only comparable to Eurovision’s recent Italian winner who has stolen the hearts of so many with his flawless cheekbones and beautiful music.
Creating a character that is obsessed with himself is no easy feat but is well managed by Lovekin who develops this mantra of narcissism through each aspect of the single. Yet, merely creating a convincing image or character is not enough to sell a record the music behind the presentation must match. Jaunty and rhythmic, driven by rolling basslines the track interweaves electronic pop instruments with live guitars seamlessly transitioning from Luke to Chloe’s vocals. These cascade into a lover’s tiff through song, with Luke adamantly refusing to accept his character is anything but perfect, nor that he could possibly face rejection.
“It’s more fun not knowing if it’s a fuck or a fight” instantly evokes the idea of rough, bitten lip, nails scratching into your back lust that echo from Lovekin’s musical personality. Developing his sound for months this dark pop ballad would feel at home on stage or in a club, designed for hot sweaty bodies. The culmination of Lovekins development as an artist it truly feels as though he has reached a precipice and is ready to dive full throttle into a sound that matches his personality whilst still allowing him to create characters evolve and tell numerous stories. The single is to be followed by Lovekin’s first music video, echoing the same flamboyant narcissism and individualism found across the rest of the singles art, inspiration and musical themes. Directed by Luke himself and Graham Roberts it will certainly be interesting to see this budding artist develop the span of his creativity into videography. Lovekin’s work seems poised to create its own universe with his artistic abilities more than enabling him to create sexual imagery with the same vigour he does his crooning voice.
You can listen to the new track here.