The future changed in a blink of an eye, especially around dating. Instead of sunset rides on BIRDs, we will roll the walkways in our human, hamster bubbles, safely keeping our distance. There will be absolutely no kissing, touching or holding until we have established a true and sustained liking for one another. For many, the now required face mask will hide best features like a smile, white teeth or high cheek bones, diminishing our chances further. (As if it truly wasn’t hard enough already.) Perhaps unveiling, if we are lucky to get that far, will accompany the three date, sex expectation. I can only speculate what our romantic futures hold. In early April, Mara Connor released her debut EP, “No Fun.” Her four tracks and two music videos taunt me with happy memories of how things were, even with its laments on love. It’s quite telling, illustrating how much I am craving normal activities, including the heartbreak.
Connor’s title track’s music video, “No Fun” is contrary to its name. It’s so fun with its Los Angeles scenic-scapes such as a typical pool party on a summer’s day, brightly colored bowling alley, deserted lot transformed into weekend skate park and classic, 1960’s, powder blue convertible. I concede the subject matter of the song is full of angst, yet I would gladly step into those video scenes which represent distant memories of the status quo. I enjoyed the song’s feminist close with Connor’s characters; the pool party gal, slick bowler, teenage wallflower and skater chick, realizing they don’t need the boy that broke their heart to be okay.
“Wildfire” is my favorite Connor tune from this album. If I had the power it would be playing on your favorite, pop, radio stations. I can’t stop humming it. Forewarning, the video is quite quirky. Please, keep in mind, this assessment is coming from Miss Quirky herself. It creatively illustrates its intended meaning that most boyfriends are ultimately ‘dummies’ while the catchy song arrests you heart. Connor also cleverly connects her title track to “Wildfire” and not just by paying homage to her native LA by using the term, ‘Devil Winds’ to reference our hot, Santa Ana gusts that blow into the city late October. At the end of the song, she turns her back on her current beau and then, deeper in the closest you see an ex-‘dummy,’ wearing a “No Fun” t-shirt. Obviously, as illuminated in “No Fun,” this mate has been tossed aside too. The tune is compelling. The drums build perfectly providing the needed intensity to tell the story, while the guitar strumming offer a steady reminder of what is inevitable. “Baby you’re a wildfire, baby you’re a wildfire. I don’t’ want to let you die. I want to watch you grow higher and higher and higher. I don’t want to let you die.”
“Yellow Eyes” comes in second as my favorite track. It’s another empowerment song. The chorus could be my new anthem, “Now it’s time, I get to going. Now it’s time, I get to find my own way. And, I leave you lonely. I leave you lonely.” The chords of the electric guitar compliment the chorus forcing you to realize the importance of putting yourself first. Connor nails it, I don’t need to be “a prisoner to everyone I loved,” finishing with, “I leave you lonely.” Bam! You tell it girl!
Connor appears young, maybe in her late 20’s, early 30’s tops, but her voice is mature. Currently she has a strong pop presence. Over time I predict her voice will develop into something sultrier and even more intense. Connors range could also move beyond pop to country, alternative or folk. There are many musical options for this young starlet.
While listening and watching Connor I was able to day dream. It was nice! We all know it’s going to be really different. There will be some changes that are harder to accept. (I’m struggling with the mask.) Yet, there may be some adaptions that are exciting. Courting may revert back to a sweeter, more innocent time. People may value connection better. I think love will become stronger. Until then I’ll use Connor to reminisce, to wonder and even hope.