Softee: “U + Me (WDYT)”

As progressive as some parts of the US purport to be, it can be insanely easy to not fit within the cog-work of traditional Western values. And without access to proper support, that absence of belonging can tragically lead some “outcasts” to take drastic measures – destruction towards themselves or others. It’s a human condition, plain and simple. But the ability to recognize that placeless-ness and understand its origins (often by gesturing broadly at our increasingly complicated society) before allocating that uncertainty into a nuanced piece of art that perhaps makes others feel more accepted? That’s divine.

Dating back to its origins in the late-’70s days of Studio 54 disco domination, electronic music has consistently provided a safe haven for “alternative lifestyles”. Even if the performers themselves aren’t explicitly part of the counterculture, the innate desire to dance our troubles away on a welcoming dance floor has created a shared identity for lovers of all things four-to-the-floor. That about brings us to Moorhead, Minnesota songwriter Nina Grollman, better known by her stage name Softee.

When Softee relocated to Brooklyn just under a decade ago, her unapologetic queerness and undyingly creative personality began to make a lot more sense. Already primed to be a pop star, Softee made her studio debut with her August 2019 EP Slow Melt, and impressively kept the momentum with another batch of ten infectious tunes via Keep On the following year. Softee’s racked up some admirable streaming numbers since then, but she sure as hell hasn’t lost sight of her music’s empathetic potential for anyone losing sleep over rampant emotions.

With that, Softee is set to reemerge anew and stronger than ever with her sophomore full-length Natural. As seen in the macabre, medieval imagery of the various single artwork, Softee is picking up where BeyoncĂ©’s Renaissance left off by axing regressive representation and re-establishing the dance floor as a harmless melting pot of all human behavior. In teaming up with Berlin’s Sweetbbyj, Natural is enhanced by an extra Eurodance aesthetic over which Softee goes hard. It’s like a mixtape of all the best electronic styles swirled together by Softee’s virtuosic vocal performance and sanguine synth work. Hear for yourself on Natural‘s latest offering “U + Me (WDYT)”, whose “Apache”-esque breakbeat, instant classic of a hook, and wah-drenched funk rhythm guitar all make the bed for Softee to uphold the prowess of pre-millenium electro-pop-R&B queens like Robyn or Janet Jackson. So…what do you think?