In Beach Bunny’s popular music, a powerful indie-rock sound propels lyrics of heartbreak and defiance that feel honest, vivid, vulnerable, and grounded. Their newest EP, Blame Game, is based in this characteristic and well-loved sound, but it also branches out in a new and exciting direction. In previous releases, lead singer and songwriter Lili Trifilio has tested the waters with social commentary by addressing the tension between Eurocentric beauty standards and her personal quest for love. In Blame Game, however, she takes on a bolder tone as she names and condemns broader societal norms surrounding victim-blaming and toxic masculinity.
The title of the first track, “Good Girls (Don’t Get Used),” plays with the idea of gendered expectations for romantic relationships, relieving women of the pressure to be a “good girl” and instead calling out toxic masculinity. The track begins powerfully with just bass, percussion, and Trifilio’s brazen lyrics. She resists the idea that her emotions are frivolous and can be ignored in order to satisfy her partner. The lyrics do not include raging insults or ill wishes, but rather, they address patterns of dishonesty in romantic relationships. As the song progresses, Trifilio takes control of her situation by drawing attention to her partner’s immaturity and insincerity, asserting that she’s tired of “fuckboy” culture and she’ll no longer fall for empty promises.
Featuring some of the catchiest rock instrumentals on the EP, “Love Sick” turns inward. A deeply introspective track, “Love Sick” explores Trifilio’s insecurities regarding romance. With vulnerability and clarity, Trifilio expresses an intense emotional exhaustion as she sings, “I’m getting tired of breaking and healing / I’m getting sick of patching myself up.”
“Nice Guys,” features oscillating major and minor harmonies along with bright, powerful chords that make the track a truly intriguing listen. Certain lines stand out as edgy and humorous, like “If your ego had a zip code, it would be a whole state wide,” but overall, you can feel that Trifilio’s exhaustion present in the previous two tracks is also present here. She is drained from pouring her heart into people who put on a façade of kindness but don’t genuinely have feelings for her. “Nice Guys” is a call for sincerity, a call for “someone who actually wears hearts inside their eyes.”
The final and title track of the EP, “Blame Game” tackles deeply-rooted sexism in American society. The lyrics speak to experiences not so different from high school dress codes, for example, where teachers might tell young women to cover their shoulders as not to distract the boys. Trifilio addresses these sexist, heteronomative expectations head-on. With a thick layer of sarcasm, the chorus reads, “Guess it’s my fault my body’s fun to stare at / Sorry my clothes can’t keep your hands from grabbing / Yeah, it’s my problem, I’m asking for it / Guess you’re the victim and I’m the suspect.” As a society, we’ve normalized blaming women when they’re the victims of unwanted sexual advances, claiming their physical appearances warrant abuse. “Blame Game” thoughtfully questions these norms and uplifts the experiences of victims, empowering all womxn to love their bodies thoroughly and without guilt.
Trifilio and her other amazing band-members have put together a jam-packed EP; I definitely recommend giving Blame Game a listen!