Pema, the experimental pop project of Alex Napping frontwoman Alex Cohen, will return with its second album Bad Habits, due out May 18 on Topshelf Records. Bad Habits is a record with a specific mission — to represent the sense of shame that society burdens on women and the journey that Cohen undertook to resolve her own perceived character flaws. Each track on the album examines a particular source of shame.
Pema shared the album’s first single “Depend” today via Stereogum with a video that shows her eating a raw onion. Says Cohen, “This sort of self-inflicted misery, I thought, paired nicely with the themes of ‘Depend’ — a song about harmful, yet voluntary emotional dependency. It has been my experience as a woman, and I think many others, that I have been conditioned my entire life to believe that I needed the adoration and strength of men to be fulfilled, even when it’s a source of pain and making me absolutely miserable.”
“A woozy trip-hop ballad… In its self-directed black-and-white video, Cohen attempts to eat an entire raw onion. The experience is as horrendous as it sounds, and for anyone with an empathetic bone in their body, it’s a little hard to stomach. But less for the sake of vanity and more for realizing the source of what causes us pain, Cohen endures it.” – Stereogum
“Depend” will be available on streaming services tomorrow. Bad Habits is out May 18 and is available for pre-order now.