Valiant Vermin

We live in an age where virtually anyone can make music. This has proven to be too much power for some, like your high school bully with a Soundcloud and an overinflated ego. But this has also allowed bedroom pop to truly thrive and develop into a diverse genre. We often throw around the genre “bedroom pop.” For those of you unfamiliar, bedroom pop is characterized by do-it-yourself and lo-fi aesthetics. This DIY approach to making music is difficult to nail down, but when an artist does it right, boy does it hit.

Take Bettina Campomanes, better known as Valiant Vermin, for example. She’s established a brand of flirty and feminine electro-pop bedroom tunes. Born in the Philippines, Campomanes now resides in New York City, creating infectiously fun pop tunes in her own bedroom. Upon hearing her song “Online Lover,” a catchy little tune about meeting your online romantic interest, I immediately got an 80s/90s girl pop vibe. To elaborate, I felt almost as if a pretty jazzercise instructor leaped through my headphones, and kissed me sweetly on the cheek, before decking me in the fucking face. Only for me to reply with a meek “thank you <3.” 

The stunning contrast between Valiant Vermin’s saccharinely sweet voice and her fiery ferocious lyrics is what led me to appreciate her music. Her songs embody the “I don’t give a fuck” attitude in the best ways. If my life were a movie, which I’ve convinced myself it is, I would definitely play one of her songs over a montage. It would probably be the part where my friends and I are getting ready for a night on the town or taking those cheesy photobooth pictures in a mall. But realistically, in these times of COVID-19, I’d play it over a night in getting wine drunk and watching a movie. Either way, her music is a perfect way to showcase fun times.

Being retro is totally in right now. To praise an artist with retro influences may appear “hipster” or cringeworthy to some, but damn does Valiant Vermin do it right. Little details, like the sounds of dial-up internet booting up, or IM notifications scattered around her songs, make it impossible to resist grinning at the overwhelmingly eccentric and lovely 90’s synth-infused tunes. If my word alone doesn’t convince you, just look at the number of notable features Campomanes has already accrued, including the likes of Ricky Montgomery for “Sunday Best” and Evan Crommet on “Alaskan Girl.” Vermin’s talent speaks for itself, and her fellow artists have caught on as well. 

If you’re ever in the mood to embrace your inner “It” girl or expel that gracious feminine energy within (guys this goes for you too, fuck those preconceived gender norms) take a listen to some of Valian Vermin’s songs. Whether you’re alone, dancing in your bedroom, or listening along while doing some stupid shit with your friends, you’re sure to have a good time.

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