“I think it’s better you know I have a dark side,” sings Lucia Cifarelli on “Girls Like Me,” her new single. That’s a warning, of course, but it’s also a promise. The singer wants to get her determination on record: she’s got things to say, and she’s going to make sure she’s heard. But if you know Cifarelli’s music from her long tenure in the seminal German industrial band KMFDM — not to mention her own uncompromising alternative rock band Drill — you’re well aware of the darkness she can summon. You know that she can ride a pounding, relentless synth-rock beat with the same poise she shows when she’s raising her voice above the snarl of distorted guitars. I Am Eye, her upcoming album, contains everything that fans and followers have come to love about Cifarelli: it’s brash, smart, outspoken, and danceable, and despite the black magic that the artist often conjures, it’s upbeat and inspiring, too.
It’s also been a long time coming. I Am Eye is Cifarelli’s first solo full-length since the searing From The Land Of Volcanos in 2003. Once again, she’s worked with KMFDM frontman and co-producer Sascha Konietzko to find a striking middle ground between a post-industrial rumble and contemporary pop-rock. She’s also foregrounded her feminism and her fighting spirit — “Girls Like Me” is designed to be an anthem and a personal statement, and its application to the lives of millions of women is apparent from the very first verse. Consider this the first chapter of a musical autobiography: an introduction to a compelling character and the point of entry to an unforgettable set that documents the pivotal moments of Lucia Cifarelli’s life.
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The clip for “Girls Like Me” is no less expressive or personal, even if Cifarelli herself is a mystery. Try to find her for yourself! The singer turns her camera on scores of women of all kinds: some young, some old, some visibly badass, some apparently sweet, but all containing apparent reserves of strength. Cifarelli has the knack for capturing the personalities of her subjects in a few quick strokes — you won’t know the stars of the “Girls Like Me,” but importantly, you’ll recognize them all. They’re people with dark sides and light sides, too: courageous, intelligent, and empowered, women in full. She identifies with them all. She makes sure you will, too.