Our first thought when we heard “Mississippi Medicine” was WOW. It’s really just that good. It’s fun and catchy. Dead in Shibuya dropped this gem on July 29, 2022 ahead of their album Valedictorian, which just released on August 19th and features “Mississippi Medicine”, “Look at Me Now”, and “The Graduate”. Sensing a theme?
“Mississippi Medicine” opens with vocals: “Do you remember last night?” Then we’re joined by the strumming of the guitar, nothing too much, just a simple repeated riff before the drums come bursting in. Musically, it’s reminiscent of Bowling For Soup or Fall Out Boy or this writer is just showing her age. Honestly, we feel that the 90s and early 2000s was a good era for music.
Lyrically, “Mississippi Medicine” is all about those late nights in the middle of a fling when you’re figuring out what’s going on. At least, that’s our interpretation of it. “You better leave my hotel room cause I don’t even know how to love you yet” kind of brings that point home. It’s definitely a disaster of something mildly resembling romance and we are here for this story, this song. Dead in Shibuya is an absolute treasure to listen to.
Formed in London pre-pandemic, Dead in Shibuya says “Mississippi Medicine” will leave you with a bittersweet sadness but you’ll be singing all the way. We have to agree–the song is a hit in our eyes. Dead in Shibuya is a perfect blend of dark pop and rock and, with songs like this one, you should definitely give them a follow on their socials below.
Q&A with Dead in Shibuya
Q: Holy wow, we love everything about “Mississippi Medicine”! What was the creative process like for this awesome track?
DEAD IN SHIBUYA: It’s an idea we had floating around for quite a while, the skeleton of this pretty straightforward but catchy pop-rock song that we always wanted to do something with. It might even have been from the pre-Dead In Shibuya days, but this album felt like the right time to record it finally.
We had the idea but we needed to arrange it properly and give it a theme. It always had quite a melancholic feeling to it so we really focused on the lyrics as being about a dysfunctional relationship. It’s got quite a sad nostalgic, but catchy vibe, which just clicks together.
Q: What *inspired* “Mississippi Medicine”? Any real life events?
DEAD IN SHIBUYA: The inspiration would be a blend of retro 80s melodies, more modern interpretations of that like Bleachers and then the 00s Pop Punk which kind of runs through all of our music. Especially bands like Fall Out Boy, I think there’s a lot of that in Mississippi Medicine. Specifically their song Grand Theft Autumn, I think there’s a similar parallel in how both songs start and the emotions they’re playing on.
Q: How did Dead in Shibuya come together?
DEAD IN SHIBUYA: We formed just before the lockdown in 2020, and during that time we were writing our first music in earnest. It was probably a way to process everything going on around us, and give us something to work towards at a time when the world felt quite bleak.
Q: What advice would you give upcoming artists?
DEAD IN SHIBUYA: It takes time to find your style, trying things out- different styles, genres, different instruments and elements is really important. It’s only by trying and seeing what works and doesn’t when the song is in its final recorded form that you can make real progress with songwriting.
Q: What three songs absolutely have to be on your road trip playlist?
DEAD IN SHIBUYA: “Los Angeles is Burning” by Bad Religion is probably one of the band’s favourite songs. It’s just an example of everything we love in music, gripping lyrics, amazing choruses, expertly performed. It’s a legendary song.
Any cut from Queen’s Greatest Hits album, you could literally pick any song at random and the entire van would be singing.
“Trash” by the New York Dolls is an absolute-must and something we’ve quite literally drove around singing along to before. haha
Q: What projects do you have in the works?
DEAD IN SHIBUYA: We’ve got the album that Mississippi Medicine is from, called “Valedictorian” releasing on August 19th. It’s a body of work we’ve been putting together which really develops our songwriting. There’s a bit of everything in there, Pop Punk, synth work, rnb, Indie, hard rock, it’s a great mix and we’re really proud of it. If you like MM you should definitely check it out!
Reviewed & Interviewed by Dana L. Sullivan
FOLLOW DEAD IN SHIBUYA: