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Artist Spotlight: Boy Jr. shares relatable narrative in new single

April 17, songwriter and LGBTQIA+ influencer Boy Jr. released “I Hope You Feel Terrible.” It is the lead single off their upcoming handcrafted album, “I Love Getting Dumped.” The single is a continuation of the artist's experimental, indie pop and rock work and an exciting precursor to the upcoming record.

Boy Jr. is the musical project of Ariel Allen-Lubman, whose career began with a background in academic music production. Since then, the artist has grown in internet presence and genre versatility, all of which have been used to fuel the upcoming album.

Allen-Lubman’s work is characterized by catchy and creative hooks with a consistent touch of personal truth. These features manifest in comical tracks with poignant narratives, all elevated by the artist’s high energy and charming, eccentric personality.

Selections of their previous singles create a versatile tapestry of genres and themes beginning with the 2018 debut single, “It's Enough.” The track is Boy Jr.’s least experimental, featuring dramatic guitar lines and an ‘80s sound in background instrumentals. The song introduces the artist's vocal range also demonstrated through a vast discography. 

The artist’s variety of vocalizations is best demonstrated through “Hey Sorry” and “Did You Remember To Take Your Meds?” The former was released in 2022 and transitions from deep, sultry vocals to moments in a raspy, higher range. The main melody of the song jumps around to fully showcase the vocal capacity of Boy Jr. and contributes to the track’s St. Vincent-esque off-center indie pop energy.

“Did You Remember To Take Your Meds?” is a more recent track featuring vocal distortions reminiscent of an anonymous hacker sending a threatening message. The menacing vocals are exacerbated by an intense techno rhythm achieved by synths and autotune, contrasted by moments of sweet melodies in the singer’s upper register.

Other standout tracks from Boy Jr.’s discography are the 2023 track “Meet Me Under The Tree” and the 2020 track “Are They Actually Attractive?” The former features a melody reminiscent of Fergie’s early 2000s pop sounds, and the artist's personality shines through in the sassy vocalizations. The track features intense bass lines, but otherwise sparse instrumentals aside from clapping drum machines and layered harmonies.

“Are They Actually Attractive?" is self-reflective and humorous with a touch of self-deprecation. The song is a good representation of the artist’s combined style and also features variety in the vocals — from legato lines in the chorus to spoken exclamations.

Some of the artist's most meaningful explorations of sexuality and gender come in the form of “Shapes & Colors” and “Meet Me In The Middle.” The futuristic track “Shapes & Colors" was released in collaboration with VALO Artists, featuring a garage rock melody. The lyrics explore gender identity creatively, such as the following line: “I’m not a woman, oh I’m not a man / I’m just a bunch of shapes and colors.” 

In "Meet Me In The Middle," Boy Jr. deliberately pauses in lyrical lines to create interestingly textured verses while demonstrating musical persistence in the chorus. The song features dramatic and deep drum machines alongside dark pop electric guitar melodies.  

Boy Jr.’s newest single, “I Hope You Feel Terrible,” tells the age-old story of wanting to confront someone who did something wrong.

“You know how people will tell you to write a letter you’ll never send when you’re upset with someone?” the artist said in a provided press release. “‘I Hope You Feel Terrible’ is like the letter I wasn’t supposed to send. It is for everyone who wishes they could have a romcom-like confrontation with someone who hurt them and tell them exactly how they really feel, with the perfect closing one-liner and everything.”  

“I Hope You Feel Terrible” begins as less of a seething track and reminisces a calm anger that steadily grows in energy and passion. The song transitions into a pop-punk segment about halfway through, characterized by the traditional drumming of the genre and rock vocal distortions. 

Boy Jr.’s followers range from music lovers and critics to creators, all of whom are drawn to the artist’s exploration of artistry and gender on a captivating influencer platform. The artist's upcoming album will continue exploring experimental pop and rock with Boy Jr.’s trademark personal touches.


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