Just Fern, a Pittsburgh native who specializes in introspective, punky, psych-pop ditties, recently released an album called Hungry Heart.
“DMT,” one of the album’s singles, sounds like an early-2010s chillwave jam plied with sleeping pills and set adrift in a sensory deprivation tank. Plush sheets of synthesizer float in space, anchored by a drum’s heartbeat and gurgles of bass. A burst of white noise rears its head at one point. Just Fern, whose sighing voice sounds like its coming from a flip phone implanted inside your head, sings lines about “chicken soup deaths” and “menthol breezes” the way old-timey chanteuses used to coo about misty eyes and slow dances. “I love you like an actress loves DMT,” JF promises, before following up with the thought, “It’s sickening.” Those lines encapsulate the song’s atmosphere: sensual, irreverent, quirky, and a bit queasy.