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Rosie Tucker Will Make You Fall In Love With Hating the Internet All Over Again

Rosie Tucker sure knows how to grab your attention with an opening line: “I hope no one had to piss in a bottle at work to get me the thing I ordered on the internet.” That’s just one of the anti-capitalist zingers in the brilliantly titled “All My Exes Live in Vortexes.” Tucker rips modern culture apart in in Utopia Now!, a fresh, biting, innovative and fantastic piece of indie-rock agit-prop tunecraft. These songs combine the 20-something malaise with a critique of the consumerist machine, and what it does to our brains. 

The L.A. singer-songwriter (they/them) has already honed their chops on a few albums, including the acclaimed 2021 Sucker Supreme, which got released on Epitaph—and immediately got them dropped from the label. But Utopia Now! is a bold new beginning, produced by Tucker with their collaborator Wolfy. Every song is packed with great lines. “White Savior Myth” crams so many into a mere 56 words: “The white savior myth got a good night’s rest/She is twenty minutes late and impeccably dressed / She is skinny like a teen and exactly as depressed.”

You might hear That Dog or Juliana Hatfield in the sound, with a pop-punk crunch in Tucker’s guitar. But the mix of playful humor and anger also evokes the Minutemen, as Tucker swerves between blunt propaganda and storm-in-my-house emotion. There’s no guardrail between the personal and the political here. Songs like “Suffer! Like You Mean It” and “Me Minus One Atom” (“I know you’ll be with me when I die alone”) examine how capitalism affects the tiniest details of our daily bummed-out lives. In “All My Exes,” Tucker sneers, “I’m just a middle-sized fish in a pile of plastic wider than Texas.”

Tucker sounds obsessed with the political, moral, and artistic failures of online culture, especially the corporate social-media brands. Yeah, sure, you’ve heard a lot of indie rockers complain about internet alienation, but not with this level of wit—or one-liners as sharp as “I buried the lede but the bitch came back.” “Lightbulb” ponders the artist’s life, at a time when expressing dissent just turns into self-promotion. “Paperclip Maximizer” takes on office culture, where each worker turns into “a paragon of puritanical panoptical persistence,” yet builds into the not-so-comforting lullaby, “Baby, when you come to/You’ll find that everything you love has been consumed.”


There’s no duds here, but the pick hit on Utopia Now! may be “Gil Scott Albatross.” Tucker warns, “They’re gonna turn the moon into a sweat shop,” feeling too weak to resist: “If I turn my life into a treadmill/Write me in a spreadsheet, lay me in a landfill.” But it builds into a bona fide love song, about two humans building a real connection in the middle of life’s daily shitstorm. “What you give to me no one can sell,” Tucker sings. “What you give to me no one can frack/What you give to me cannot owe bail / What you give to me no app can track.” That’s amore, circa 2024.

Utopia Now! is definitely a portrait of North America in our moment, set in a culture where non-sponsored fun is just a rumor, where your phone is spying on you, where every small-time artist has to turn into a full-time huckster just to keep making their art. Even in the gorgeous Pavenent-style guitar ballad “Big Fish/No Fun,” Tucker sings the ironic punch line, “The metadata proves you’re the real thing.” But somehow, Tucker manages to make it sound both romantic and horrifying—a typical feat for this great album.

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