Written by: Jen Dan
Dirty Chime is the electronic pop music project of Los Angeles-based solo artist Thomas Clayton. He deals not only with the sonic side of the music format, but also delves into the lyrical depths in order to bring certain important issues to the surface.
New laid-back single “Fifty One Fifty”, which just dropped on July 19th, is a fitting example of Clayton’s lyrics having deeper meaning than the typical pop song.
The title is the spelled-out California law code (AKA 5150) for the psychiatric detainment of someone with a mental illness who is a possible danger to themselves or others.
While the song title and its implications are heavy, the urban soul-pop music is not. “Fifty One Fifty” floats on a dreamy cloud of twisting electronics, trip-hop beat, and smoothly gliding vocals. The bittersweet lyrics are sung in a wistfully yearning style, imbuing the drama with a gentle softness.
Clayton shines a light on the lyrical intent of “Fifty One Fifty”, stating, ““I want the greater takeaway from this song to be that in this day and age, we are all struggling with varying degrees of craziness, that perhaps there can be a humor and a levity to it at times. But of course, I want this to be educational as well, to highlight that getting 5150’d is a thing, and to be armed with knowledge in case you have a friend or family member who needs help.”
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