Magdalena Bay’s previous single, “Neon“, showcased a chilled-out take on pop. Their just-released effort “Set Me Off” certainly plays on more of a sugar rush, though again shows the duo’s incredible capacity for hooks and colorful melody. With a vocal style “inspired by Gwen Stefani and Madonna’s playfully pouty pop vocals”, Mica Tenenbaum treads a perfect balance between sugar-sweet infectiousness and suave longing. The production of Matthew Lewin rides on brisk percussion and colorful synths, with a crunchy guitar leading into an explosive rock-tinged chorus. Once again, the duo provide to be a perfect complement to each other, with Tenenbaum’s faultless vocals and Lewin’s punchy production working beautifully together. The result is a track that blends the best aspects of colorful pop music and rock, with a bit of angst and heartbreak.
“Whether it’s an obsession with checking out an ex’s Snapchat or a fixation with an old flame’s favorite things (in this case foreign movies, concert posters and roller-coasters), we’ve all put ourselves through these masochistic walks down memory lane,” Tenenbaum explains. “I’ve been meaning to write a song about this for a while — it’s crazy how music, movies, and places can come to represent that one person you’re trying to not think about. To this day, listening to the Strokes reminds me of a certain middle school relationship that I’d rather not relive.”
“We write most of our songs long distance, since Matt lives in Boston and I’m usually in Philadelphia. I’ve been in London since January, so we made sure to finish this song during our time together in December. Out of all of our songs, this one probably got the most normal, in-person writing and development time.”