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  • Writer's pictureSpyros Psarras

Album Review: Trigger Warning | Emily Misura

This is a warning for this post is NOT another album recommendation. Or maybe it is… It is definitely NOT the album you are interested in. Or maybe you are but you didn’t even know. Your ears do NOT need this music but truth is they do. Emily Misura’s latest release ‘Trigger Warning’ is unlike anything the Sanctum has covered before but as a sucker for experimental material, I could never pass this new-found universe.

Some say comedy is the place where people are allowed to talk about literally anything without consequences. On the other hand, we’ve come to a point where comedy struggles to survive under the ‘politically correct’ veil and even supresses its unchained nature in fear of the cancel culture that seems to be taking over. So Misura has taken precautionary measures. Her ‘Intro’ is a chaotic message to the audience, clear in its mess, stating that this is a place where everything goes. So we are 100% responsible for whatever follows if we stay, for whatever we miss if we leave. The homonymous ‘Trigger Warning’ is breeding an exotic, summer loop with the internet’s TW in a super sarcastic contrast, reminding us that life is not where we currently are. Ok, maybe it’s not in Hawaii either to be realistic, but anywhere is healthier than the handheld screens feeding us with all the ugliness of the world in a single scroll-down. The artist is then touching us deeply with the heartfelt keys and strings of ‘Sticking to My Guns’ to only ‘shit all over everyone’ in the end while at the same time introducing a couple of hilarious characters I could easily enjoy in an American Dad or Simpsons episode. The spitting, brace-wearing kid is precious. ‘It’s Time’ opens with the most unexpected line ‘Sometimes you wanna put things in your butt’ sung over a magical melody that just launches the whole thing to a sky of laughter! I just can’t! This is an actual 4-minute meme about kinkshaming, referring to torture porn as a desperate way for lost souls to attract attention and hopefully find acceptance. Misura’s had it with all the unfortunate effects of TikTok and here I feel that her comedy might make you think even more than laugh. Admirable. This is indeed the point where freedom of speech is so out of control that our brains are filled with about 80% crap and 20% educational content. ‘Did you REALLY need to tell your 20 Tik Tok followers that you are into CNC?’

A tribute to boys trying to be men the wrong way is paid in ‘Winning’ and not ‘Wiening’. Haha. Get it? Ok, this is not my role here. ‘Winning’ offers a good laugh out of f*ckboys and mindless patriarchy. It’s a love letter to every big-headed d*ick (Get it?), neatly folded and scented until it unfolds and screams like a Howler in Hogwarts! By the way, did we have any f*ckboys in Hogwarts? The resourcefully ridiculous, toe-speaking ‘Achilles’ Toe’ makes for the most irrelevant warm up before Misura’s impression of Celine Dion X Christina Aguilera in ‘Moist’. This one is a hysterical ballad (never used those two words in one sentence) about sweat. For what would an album be without at least one track about bodily fluids, right? This is a real gem both lyrically and instrumental-wise. And if you see sweat as the tears of the body, then the ballad direction choice goes way deeper than you thought. Gotcha! And then Misura is ‘almost Omega’, meaning she’s about to close this album. But would she ever let you get away that easy? Nope. A sophisticated ‘stand by’ music makes the bridge to the second part of Trigger Warning with the artist giving us some time to rest our b*ttholes before we get f*cked without a single key of music to smoothen the intercourse. It’s the raw ‘A Love Song for the Haters’. If this is not experimental stuff I don’t know what is. And If you think about it, only a non-recording artist has the ability/inability to manage music as if it wasn’t music, at least not as we know it, free from all standards. It’s a comedy album after all.

‘Look! I Found My Autism’ can have a couple of translations but it’s mainly a classical music-inspired (lol) ode to Autism as an alibi to keep on burying our heads in the sand. Just like ‘It’s Time’, this one seems to condemn the habit of exploiting our darkest points, real or made-up, in order to get attention, have it easy and stay exempted from all kinds of responsibility. A loud message served in the most imaginative package. The following ‘Faggot’ will have you rolling on the floor, breathless, especially the moment Misura’s singing ‘Faaagooot’ choir-style! In a parallel universe where we could play this track shamelessly in front of children, this would be a serious, constructive art piece for a world without bullies and racism! The trio ‘Star-Spangled Awesome’ - ‘The Millennial Vote’ - ‘Socialize Me, Daddy’ contains all the American culture paranoia one would expect in an album of this kind. The line ‘I’d rather die in the street than pay for an ambulance’ as well as the sensational hillbilly persona played by the comedian, sadly comprise the real America. The humour is disarming and can be highly entertaining for, say a European, but I cannot imagine how painful it might sound to Americans. The satiric ‘Opulence Osteen’ is shaming money the proper way, with the artist ‘spittin’ over a suitable heavy bass-line and hip hop loops. Surprisingly this is a track that can actually stand as a music piece but I’m sure it was not intentional! In ‘Must Be Nice’ we are reminded of humanity’s ungratefulness, having everything for granted, not understanding the privilege of being healthy, breathing and speaking freely. All that over 00’s pop music that sounds so hilariously dated in the year 2022. As this experience is slowly reaching its end, for real this time, violins are crying for all the ‘f*cking bitches’ who are criticized for over-enjoying or under-enjoying a meal! ‘Body Positively Toxic’ is an absolute ‘essential’ part of today’s reality as much as the Boomer arrogance in ‘Screed of Roses’. The closing ‘Above the Influence’ is a soothing, guitar-driven piece, here to reward the listener for choosing to stay until the end. For only a self-aware human is smart enough to see the intention behind the bad language, the message behind the exaggeration.

Trigger Warning is a double-edged sword. During the 1st part of the LP, the scale is obviously tilting to the funny side of the matters explored while the exact opposite is true for the 2nd part. Misura’s crafted a safe place to speak about the absurdity of the human behaviour and her work shows a comedian sharp as a needle. The instrumental is combined with the script in such ingenious ways, managing to ridicule the serious and weigh down the lame. And that’s the exact purpose of comedy. To balance the extremes of our nature, the inequality of society and keep us sane through this bumpy ride called life. Amen!

Enjoy Trigger Warning here:


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