(Originally appeared on Tina Drill – Feb 28, 2019. By Lee Adcock.)

You know what? This world…is GREAT. Humanity is FINE. I mean, my nation’s on fire and so is yours, and neither of us still have a stable income, but as long as we’re suffering together, then we’ve got something special between us. All I have to do to keep myself grounded is to step on the train and sit down with everyone else. No matter how they smell, what fast food boxes or suitcases or bicycle parts they’re carrying, we’re all going the same way. We’ll all get stranded in the same place, and we’ll all be late for something. And all any of us can do is huff and sigh and wait until ol’ MARTA chugs back into motion.

You know what else is great about humanity, though? Paradoxes. New Zealand rabble-rouser Fanfickk celebrates self-annihilation here – but even though you’re not invited to “Pity Party”, you’re listening in and commiserating anyway. Indeed, our protagonist flaunts her wallowing with an impish gusto that’s downright infectious; she sabotages pop conventions as eagerly as she sabotages herself, eschewing the familiar obsidian of her debut EP Stay Shy for a more cut-up, beat-up, glitched-up romp into despair. Not to mention, who can’t love so much snark in one place? We shove others out when we suffer, and Fanfickk smirks with pointy teeth as she snarls at anyone who would dare intrude in her self-shaming. “I may present MPDG [manic pixie dream girl] / but that doesn’t mean that you don’t disgust me.”

My mind bounces up and down in the frenzy. I think about The Normal, whose debut single was literally a car crash, a whispered broadcast into the inferno. Or like EMA, who also built a reputation with scar-bearing nihilism. But I also think about a local emcee, Jay Americana, who threw a similar party for himself last year, and who can still set crowds on fiy-ah with bars about being a shut-in.

Modern times exacerbate this sort of hyper-mope mode, I believe. in the video, you can see how easily Fanfickk can sulk in public around Rotorua – not just because she can isolate herself, but also because the passersby shut her out, too. Granted, she’s technically not alone – someone had to hold the camera. “I enlisted my friend Heather, who was paid generously in friendship,” jokes Fanfickk in a quick presser. “It doesn’t sound like a lot, but it’s actually worth even more than exposure.” Humanity isn’t easy to come by, apparently. Nor is Fanfickk gonna hold her breath and wait for unsolicited pity: “I tell all my friends that I’m OK / what’s the point in making them worry?

So see, kids? We are all self-destructing. We’re all riding the same damn train to nowhere. And all anyone can do is huff and sigh, blast songs like this in your earbuds, and shove your bag in the seat next to you.