- Blurring the line between club producer and pop star, Sega Bodega explores vulnerable masculinity.
- Sega Bodega is a URL club music favourite. Occupying a distinctive space between avant-pop and experimental club, he's a producer behind countless bangers, including Shygirl's "BB", Quay Dash's "U.A.F.W.M." and Brooke Candy's "Drip." Sega Bodega's first album, released on NUXXE—a label and collective he cofounded with Shygirl, Coucou Chloe and Oklou—is an exploration of the artist's deepest feels. Its Valentine's Day release was intentional. The complexities of romance, alcohol dependence, the fragility of life and untimely death weave in and out of intricate arrangements of manipulated vocals and bold melodies.
The opening track, "2 Strong," sets the precedent for the entire album, as AutoTune vocals and seductive lyrics are woven together with fingerpicked guitar before his R&B choral style adds the completing layer. Anyone who dabbled in emo 15 years ago may recognise the dramatic breakdown in "Masochism," reminiscent of the the pop-punk band Hellogoodbye—it's one of the LP's best moments. Sega Bodega's wide musical repertoire and focus on narrative development is most apparent on tracks like these. Detailing a hate-love affair with alcohol on "Masochism," he sings, "It's not sadism that tempts me / I just know I feel so empty / Unless I'm down here with you."
"Raising Hell" is the archetypal Sega Bodega track: ASMR-style intro, stripped-back trap beat and layered AutoTune, which profess that "No one's around and I'm horny with my phone, leaving all you on uhm." "U Got The Fever," another ode to chaotic behaviour, depicts the internal fight with whether to entertain a foolish hook-up.
But perhaps the LP's most significant track is "Calvin," a heartfelt tribute to Sega Bodega's late friend. A couple of days after Salvador's release, he posted a message addressing mental health among young men, who were, he said, "raised and trained to be emotionally stunted and literally denied the ability to [show] weakness." In other words, Sega Bodega wants us to hold each other close before it's too late. Beautifully melting together sweet piano chords with a conversation between himself and Calvin, the track approaches the subject of suicide and loss considerately while remaining audibly unique to Sega Bodega.
01. 2 Strong
03. Raising Hell
04. U Got The Fever
05. Heaven Knows
06. Salv Goes To Hollywood
07. Knox (Interlude)
08. Smell Of The Rubber
09. U Suck
11. Kuvasz In Snow