Photos and feature by Alice Teeple
Welcome to Greytopia, the newest single from alt-pop songstress Karolina Rose. It is a danceable shout out to those clinging to self-help books and crystals, searching in vain for the path back to Source. Karolina Rose paints a beautiful vision of an idealistic planet: a world free from judgement, condemnation, and the roadblocks to our dreams.
‘The internet here only has positive news, fangirls and boys are lounging, exposing their tattoos.”
Imagine no disappointment, no guilt…no vicious commentary. In Greytopia, everyone is special. Everyone is free to do as they please, and manifest all they desire. And yet…despite the relentless messages of positivity, one can’t help but feel that blue note of melancholy throughout the track.
“It’s written with a little bit of irony. It seems like everything is rosy, but in reality we’re simply accepting what’s happening,” the alt-pop songwriter explains. “In Greytopia, everything we feel along the spectrum is acceptable. Black and white is blended into grey. We glide through Greytopia to pursue our highest self. It’s a bit idealistic from that standpoint.”
Karolina Rose takes cues from the pulsing synths of Depeche Mode, the lush vocal stylings of Florence and the Machine, and the wry, sociopolitical commentary of the Pet Shop Boys. Greytopia, written and produced with Elliot Jacobsen (Elle King, Allie X), is a dance-pop triumph.
Fresh off a summer European tour and a brief stop in NYC, Rose is currently writing new music in Los Angeles through autumn. She plans to head back to Europe for her next project. It is evident that her European adventures and Polish-American roots have made a mark on her unique sound. This is clever pop crafted through the sharp observations of a world citizen.
Not one for penning cliché pop rhymes, Karolina Rose’s lyrics occasionally border on the psychedelic:
“Haters from Earth are waiters
It’s always sunny, the post is run by bunnies
Marble message on the wall
We wash our hair with crushed flowers”
Where is THAT planet?
The rose-colored video for Greytopia depicts a delightful romp through a lush landscape, making us long for its freedom and beauty. But look more closely, and you realize Rose is actually marching through this bucolic wonderland in a stylized uniform. It is a jolly nod at old Soviet propaganda promising unified peace and prosperity to a disaffected populace…with a modern Law of Attraction twist.
“Greytopia is the Communism of dreams,” she quips, “where people forever march toward their highest selves.”
Karolina Rose raises an important question with this artistic metaphor. We often rue those opportunities deprived through capitalism, politics, religion, and cultural expectations. Would the highs of victory be so sweet if success, adoration, manifestation and unconditional support were equally granted to everyone on the planet? Does the difficult Earth experience ultimately serve the ultimate purpose of gratitude? Perhaps it is the struggle itself that propels the Law of Attraction after all.
Food for thought.
Blare this banger loud and proud, and follow your dreams.
Greytopia is available on all platforms and will be featured on her upcoming EP, Rosemary, due in 2020.