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Live Review: Ah Mer Ah Su takes taboos to the dancefloor with ‘Klonopin’ club remix

23 May 2017 | 8:05 am | Freya Dinesen

Oakland artist AH MER AH SU (Star Amerasu) has debuted a new club edit of her release ‘Klonopin’, confronting grief and mental health taboos.

Oakland artist AH MER AH SU (Star Amerasu) has debuted a new club edit of her release ‘Klonopin’, confronting grief and mental health taboos with this wondrous pop/electronic number.

‘Klonopin’ was originally released by Ah Mer Ah Su on her Rebecca EP, confronting the sorrow and anguish of losing a transgender friend to suicide and becoming drug dependent to cope with her already crippling anxiety.

This edited upbeat version of ‘Klonopin’ offers the harrowingly beautiful composition to new audiences, showing glimpses of light that shine through in dark times while still being irrefutably tinged with sadness. It is both a personal exploration of her own use of the drug, and a reflection on the way we are taught to consider pharmaceuticals in our own lives.

‘Klonopin’ opens with whimsical, crystalline synth pads and a leading riff, establishing a shining, magical tone that melodically sounds entirely jubilant. Slower beats introduce the song at its original tempo as Ah Mer Ah Su’s luscious, soulful vocals introduce the juxtaposing somber theme of the narration.

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Part way through the opening lyrics [ "I pop my Klonopin in the morning / I pop my pills to keep me going / I think that I might have a problem / but I still ain't hit rock bottom”], the song shifts tempo as the beats transition the track into this newfound club banger.

As the song progresses into the realms of buoyant, sped-up pop electronic, Ah Mer Ah Su’s vocals become ethereal as she creates complex, harmonising stratums that break through the euphoric club vibes.

On reflection of experiences that inspired the song, Ah Mer Ah Su states:

"I was just popping molly and taking Klonopin to stave off the imminent panic attacks that would hit so often. Grief is a hard thing to do and losing someone you love is rough. This was my song for letting myself be okay with not being okay."

The self-described pop-tronic princess has intricately constructed this pop masterpiece to dextrously navigate through the complex themes of peoples’ relationships with drugs.

As a transgender woman herself, Ah Mer Ah Su has channeled her experiences with life, anxiety and drug dependency into her music, aiming to offer support and validation to others who are mentally struggling. This new edit serves as a shining light for coping, for doing what you can to get through, and for the hope that it's going to be okay.

"There is no shame in self-care. If self-care is taking a Klonopin, drinking and having fun, that's totally okay. Everyone in my circle is coping with a society that is fucked. Taking care of yourself is paramount."

The rework of 'Klonopin' will be released on an EP of Rebecca remixes and is due out later this year.


Photo by Jack Mannix