Turning inwardly with her new single “Hot Head”, Philly singer, songwriter, and spoken-word poet Christinna O surrenders a haunting thunderstorm of a song that works on a couple of different levels. Officially, we the audience are bearing witness to a young woman’s tumultuous relationship with her bipolar disorder.
Revealing, vulnerable, and heartfelt, “Hot Head” is filled with soft washes of synthesizers, strings and remotely clanging drums that rise and fall with the emotions of the vocalist. With the foreknowledge that the song is a picture of a woman struggling with mania and depression, the moments of barely concealed pain and weariness that seep through her reserved demeanor land with an especially effective thud. We are moved by Christinna's words and soon find ourselves wanting to comfort the singer somehow. The singer herself explains that the song “…expresses how hard it is to speak and be heard for your truths, especially as a Black woman, as a queer Black woman, as a Black queer woman who lives with mental health obstacles”
My initial take on the song reveals more about me and my headspace than anything else. After a few listens, “Hot Head” took me back to moments when I felt constrained in a relationship because I feared the explosive backlash of my partner whenever I decided not to bite my tongue or quietly clench my teeth. If you’ve been in this sort relationship – where manipulation and guilt slowly become the norm – then I’m confident that you’ll have a similar reaction at some point. With each listening I found myself remembering those moments where every action was second-guessed and picked apart in an attempt to either avoid confrontation or lay on the guilt during a hell-raising argument. But then again, maybe that's just me projecting.
"'Hot Head' is a mouthpiece for my often held rage. This song meets me at the fork in the road, with the option of imploding or getting it all out" she says. I think it's safe to say that Christinna O has found a pretty therapeutic way to not only channel and release her own rage but also created a song that allows the listener to address his or her own issues as well.
"Hot Head" is available now on all streaming services.