Album review: Scene Queen – Hot Singles In Your Area

Bow down to the (scene) queen – Hannah Collins dives into hot girl summer on her fun, surprising debut album, Hot Singles In Your Area…

Album review: Scene Queen – Hot Singles In Your Area
Emma Wilkes

In a musical world so usually populated by greebs in all-black, a sugar-pink revolution has been brewing. Enter Scene Queen, the Y2K-loving Bimbocore iconoclast who’s set TikTok alight with her instantly catchy tunes. Sometimes it’s filthy, sometimes it’s violent, and sometimes it’s both at the same time. Now, her debut album takes that approach and pours lighter fluid on it – everything is bigger, but the beauty of her move into making full-length records is that Hannah Collins can show off just how versatile Scene Queen can be.

It's almost imperceptible at first, because it’s so easy to swept away by its sharp lyrics and stupidly, stupidly infectious melodies, but Hot Singles In Your Area is rather cleverly structured. Initially, it fires off from the starting line with a sense of white-hot vengeance – 18+ is equally sassy and scathing in its takedown of sexual abusers in the scene (with a genius '18-plus, 18-plus, get those children off your bus' cheerleader chant), while Hannah sounds incandescent in a whole new way as she rages against men spiking drinks on Whips & Chains. Mutual Masturbation, meanwhile, transforms frustration into fun as she bemoans feeling excluded by 'All these boys in bands just draining their testicles' in festival backstage areas.

At the midway point, a feeling of empowerment surges through. The pulsing POV and icy, AutoTuned cyber-pop of Stuck finds Hannah standing tall and serving hard, while also stretching the definition of Bimbocore to new dimensions. The frantic Oral Fixation pushes the envelope further with hyperactive shredding and lightning fast raps, but the biggest surprise is left till last with Climax, a disarmingly emotional ballad about love and life's impermanence unlike anything Hannah's ever made.

It's a surprisingly sweet ending to this feisty, varied and oftentimes hilarious record, and while Scene Queen might be a bit Marmite-y as music goes, even doubters who fail to have the dials moved by these songs will definitely not be forgetting them.

Verdict: 4/5

For fans of: Poppy, BABYMETAL, Sophie Powers

Hot Singles In Your Area is released on June 28 via Hopeless

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