From NBC’s “The Voice” to her newest title “K-12,” Melanie Martinez has brought her unique artistic vision to speakers and screens of all sizes with her new album “K-12.” The album was released on Sept. 6, and the album’s feature film launched on Sept. 5.
“Surrealist, whimsical, dark comedy musical,” is how Martinez described the album in an interview with KTLA 5, “It’s very magical.”
Throughout the film’s pastel, violent K-12 world, Cry Baby and her friends face obstacles such as bullying, substance abuse, mental illness and the drama that exists within school walls.
She paints the K-12 administration to be lecherous, corrupt and uncaring of the student population as outlined in her song “The Principal.”
The song says: “Killing kids all day and night / Prescription pills and on-line fights / Shooting at the angels while claiming you’re the good guy / All you want is cash and hype.”
Martinez’s lyrics describe the lead administrator as someone that is out of touch with the student body and unaware of the challenges they face while keeping a professional and benevolent facade.
The album’s lyrics encourage the audience to venture through grade school again, with a bittersweet nostalgic view.
Her movie is free to watch on Youtube and currently has around 27 million views. Fans have expressed their delight and support for the artist’s free movie. Martinez’s label, Atlantic Records, invested an estimated $6 million for the project’s completion. Despite being an hour and a half long, the video does not contain any advertisements.
For this album, her current most streamed song on Spotify is “Show and Tell,” gaining approximately 9.5 million streams since its release.
Martinez’s second album, “Cry Baby,” was released in Aug. 2015 and followed the 2014 release of her EP, “Dollhouse.”
Fans have waited about four years for the release of a new album, with only one song released on SoundCloud in response to sexual assault allegations in 2017 from her ex-friend Timothy Heller. The song “PIGGYBACK” discusses Martinez’s feelings on the situation.
The song outlines her struggles with friendships ending in jealousy due to her fame and fortune.
She maintained her innocence throughout the social media explosion, and the allegations have not resurfaced directly from either source. Many fans boycotted her music during that time, while others found holes in the story and remained loyal to Martinez despite the allegations.
She uses common adolescent terms and themes to point out flaws within the school system as an adult. Songs featured on the album follow the established child-centered theme. titles of the songs include “Wheels on the Bus,” “Lunchbox Friends” and “High School Sweethearts.”
“K-12” is set in a fantasy world that follows the adventures of Martinez’s younger characterization of herself who is referred to as Cry Baby. Within the 90-minute movie for the album, Cry Baby and her friends utilize their seemingly extraterrestrial powers to help them survive their time within the school and eventually destroy it.
Martinez’s characters fit into student body stereotypes. Primarily the archetypes one would be used to seeing in teen movies and relatable public service announcements. Cry Baby’s clique embodies those who experience the harsh side of teacher favoritism and bullying.
K-12 is set to go on a world wide tour starting Oct. 13 in Washington D.C. and finishes in Germany on Dec. 12. More tour dates and ticket information are offered on her website at melaniemartinezmusic.com