I think it’s fair to say Sarah Tudzin could sell a haunted beach house to a good, Christian man living in Nebraska. It’s no secret that Illuminati Hotties has created some of the most noteworthy music to come out of recent scenes since 2018, and it doesn’t look as though they are letting up any time soon. Let Me Do One More is their first full-length record off Snack Shack Tracks, Tudzin’s own label that she created with the help of Hopeless Records and it’s so exciting to watch in real time the magic that’s being made there.
This album is a perfect mesh of chunky guitar riffs, weird instrumentals, tight drums and Tudzin’s near impossible to miss vocals. It’s a boisterous record, musically ripping and dancey whilst offering more than a few tongue in cheek lyrics that all internet folks are probably going nuts for (I say that lovingly, I swear). Illuminati Hotties use of call and response throughout the record is a great foreshadow to how rowdy and fun their shows are going to be. Personally, I can’t wait to scream “Text me / Touch me / Call me daddy!” and I highly doubt I’m alone with that.
The first track and the second single from the record, “Pool Hopping” is arguably one of the best songs to have come out this summer. It’s a super high energy, catchy track that was the perfect choice as an opener to this ripping record. The second track is coincidentally their first single. “MMMOOOAAAAAYAYA” is everything that makes Illuminati Hotties sound one of a kind — a catchy hook, borderline dissonant guitars, that classic call and response and it leaves you wanting more.
What follows is “Knead,” the third track that keeps up the energy Illuminati Hotties has so quickly established on the record without feeling repetitive or tiresome. And while they soften JUST a smidge, they still never let up with that crunchy rhythm guitar and quick instrumental build ups that lead into softer refrains.
Next up is “Threatening Each Other re: Capitalism,” which was quite the surprise for me — I expected something loud and fast from the title, but was a sharp turn into soft and slow. It’s a wonderful song to allow you a moment’s respite to catch your breath and picks up in fullness rather than volume towards the second half, proving you don’t necessarily have to break the sound barrier in order to pick your audience back up.
With “u v v p,” we see Illuminati Hotties take an incredible leap, starting the song with a pretty traditional sound and doing an awesome 180 to more of an alternative country/folk vibe. Big Thief’s Buck Meek features on this song, doing a super smooth monologue over top wavy harmonies and pedal steel. I’m a total sucker for a country song with a monologue in it (I had Faye Webster’s Jonny on repeat for about three days for that reason alone).
Throughout the rest of the record, Illuminati Hotties goes to show there’s not too much that they can’t do. Tudzin’s engineering prowess truly shines in every nook and cranny of every single song. They do a wonderful job of creating an ocean tide within a song, each phrase ebbing and flowing into the next with incredible precision. The engineering work is nothing less than impressive, every song having walls of sound that don’t feel muddy or cacophonous. Everything is full and wonderfully balanced, it’s truly a record to be proud of.
Illuminati Hotties did not miss with Let Me Do One More. I’m more than grateful they have decided to share their art with all of us for it’s not something that I, a humble listener, will be taking for granted.