Royal & the Serpent returns with another rendition of the RAT TRAP saga with RAT TRAP 3: the band-aid. The two-track project brings another double-sided single for her dedicated fans with “Utopia” and “Sweet Tooth,” each with its own music video.
The alternative artist’s storytelling through projects like this is moving, as Royal & the Serpent does not shy away from even the most vulnerable topics. She intimately shares “the deepest and darkest parts of her psyche” in her creations.
The main reason I make music is that it’s the best therapy I could ever ask for: the process of taking everything in my brain and putting it on paper and then singing it out loud for people is so helpful and healing for me. The idea that my own expression can affect people in positive ways is such a blessing and a gift; I don’t ever take it lightly. I just want to keep telling my truth and reach as many people as I possibly can, and see where this little journey takes us.
~ Royal & the Serpent
First is “Utopia,” with breathy vocals backed by gentle strumming. The flashing shots, contrasting an almost pastel aesthetic scene and grungy red lighting create a surreal viewing experience as Royal dances interpretively on-screen. The song erupts into more passionate belting and built-up instrumentals, oozing with the bittersweet emotion that comes from realizing you’re better off without someone you used to care about in your life.
Look at me, look at you
All my fantasies are coming true
You were never worth the energy
You’re tough to swallow
Watch me scream
This feels so good
Me without you, utopia
Flipping to the other side of RAT TRAP 3, “Sweet Tooth” divulges the story of someone being irresistible and addicting, even if they’re toxic, with a virulent love. For the song’s final minute, Royal brings out her electro-pop influences with electric noise and distortions — vibrant and energetic, emotions almost palpable.
So tell me that you still love me
Even with my rotten teeth
Loving every cavity
I need you, my sweet tooth
~ “Sweet Tooth”
Royal & the Serpent has been appearing with Fall Out Boy on their headline tour, So Much For (Tour) Dust, throughout July, wrapping up August 6. She also made special appearances at independent record stores such as Rough Trade NYC and Philadelphia’s Repo Records. But don’t fret if you missed out, as more is on the way from Royal & the Serpent. Stay posted for updates on her official website, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok.
Photo credit to Juan Flores