RÊVERIE is 2019’s answer to all the girl groups we loved and lost in the 1970s.
The new single which RÊVERIE recently debuted is unconventional just from looking at its title; “iiii”, pronounced “four eyes”, is not a jab at spectacle-wearers, but refers to looking in the mirror and finding oneself staring back right into your own eyes. This motif might seem as something straight out of a horror movie, yet is actually an everyday occurrence which many do not think about twice.
Poor mental health has the power to shapeshift these otherwise non-threatening, everyday occurrences into something significantly more malicious – and that is what ultimately inspired the creation of “iiii”. RÊVERIE’s frontwoman, former Instagram darling Sara Devika Matyus, wrote and produced the track earlier this year at her emotional low point.
“The song is inspired by negativity that surrounds us when we have a sense of self,” says Matyus. “Coming to [the] realization of the person you are and all the aspects of your own personality and ‘ways’ that you don’t like about yourself. Not being able to live with the person you are, wanting to change yourself but realizing that you aren’t capable of doing so and having to accept yourself the way you are.”
RÊVERIE’s three members are between the ages of 17 and 22, that stage of one’s life when one realises that parents, friends, and boyfriends do not define who you are, and will not be there at every step of the way. Solitude can be terrifying, but can also provide the opportunity for self-reflection and redefinement.
“iiii” displays a range of emotions: the overall beat may seem slow and calming, almost begging to be underestimated and catalogued in the “Music to chill to” playlist, Nevertheless, when Matyus takes a breath at 1:19, the chords come tumbling in, suddenly revealing the lack of pace control typical of a panic attack. The production quality is definitely impressive for a debut track of an unsigned band, while the ethereal, whispery, and borderline slurry vocals on “iiii” seem heavily-influenced by Billie Eilish.
The fact that RÊVERIE often get compared to Billie Eilish is not accidental, and extends far past sound and loosely-defined “aesthetic”. Before Eilish rose to prominence in the last few years, female youth’s mental health was often trivialised, or worse, sexualised. Eilish’s frank, age-realistic (despite not age-appropriate, according to more conservative parents) lyrics and unapologetic choice to wear what she wants instead of being forced into skimpy outfits like Britney and Christina before her, changed the course of female representation in music.
Whether RÊVERIE are just sailing on Eilish’s success, or whether Eilish paved the way for other artists and they are free to reference her is not the point. What is far more important (and impressive, in a somewhat depressing way), is that we are now more likely to have a civilised and productive conversation about mental health instead of filming a young woman shaving her head and smashing car windows during a major depressive episode. That is definitely a sign of progress in society’s understanding of depression but also proves that women are treated more seriously in the music industry than they were only 5 or 10 years ago. Just imagine what The Runaways could have done if they were signed in 2019.