In the fall of last year, Deb Never got formally introduced to the music scene. Her captivating collaboration with Shlohmo and D33J, “Nothing Left”, appeared on a WeDidIt mixtape and led to her induction into the label’s family. Now, the Los Angeles-based singer is further establishing herself as an artist to watch with the release of her new single and music video, “Ugly”.
Drawing on the nostalgic sounds of the ’90s and early 2000s, the song further establishes the vocalist at the crossroads of lo-fi grunge and dreamy indie rock. At its core, “Ugly” is about vulnerability, both lyrically and in its delivery. While she draws on the lineage of R&B to croon about unrequited love, the track’s instrumentation alternates between eerie piano chords and distorted guitar riffs, elevating the genre-bending production.
As Deb Never explained in a press release,
“Ugly is about a toxic, co-dependent relationship where there’s no more love but there’s still a need for comfort. I feel like everyone has been in this type of relationship because it’s easy to fall into. Then suddenly being unhappy but comfortable becomes normal. I suppose you could call it an ugly relationship.”
For the music video, the Pacific Northwest-born artist crafted a silly and mischievous visual that recalls music videos from pop-punk’s heyday. The clip finds her and her crew don dog costumes and cause mischief around the suburbs. Hosted by 88rising and featuring BROCKHAMPTON’s Matt Champion, the work serves as a perfect complement to the mournful track.
Watch for yourself below.