I found Gumball Machine while I was on a long bus ride, manically flipping through suggested songs on my SoundCloud account, hoping to find the next sound that would elevate my soul to a higher level of being.
I haven’t found that sound since I discovered Yung Lean in 2014—these days I will tell you that most music that’s not Yung Lean is stupid. I might not have found my next Yung Lean on this fateful bus ride, but a name caught my attention—Gumball Machine.
More accurately, Gumball Machine didn’t attract my attention so much as his brilliant track title did—”I’m Gay and Instagram is Ruining My Life.”
When I saw this title my heart skipped a beat. I have been waiting this whole life for a raunchy, underground gay artist to sing me to sleep at night—was this him? Well, Gumball Machine might not be the one. Luckily, he comes close.
“I’m Gay and Instagram is Ruining my Life” has a four-on-the-floor beat, Arabian-esque synth chords, and a vocal style that would best be described as male Ke$ha. Lyrically, on this song Gumball Machine laments how obsessed he has become with taking the perfect selfie for Instagram and his mom not understanding that. “I’m my own masterpiece brought to life / I’m prolific taking pictures every night,” he pouts over demented, melting synthesizers. The lyrics on this track actually do a good job of highlighting how much Instagram is seen as a high art by myself and my peers, while to our parents it is so far from it.
Another song I really like from Gumball Machine is “Cooties.” The song has a similar club-centric feel to that of “I’m Gay and Instagram is Ruining My Life,” with a darker and more sensual edge. The bass response on this track is pummeling, and it has a cool distorted bass and breakbeat breakdown that evokes Deadmau5. This track would best be described as Gumball Machine’s “hot and heavy” offering. While it only has 73 likes, it is a very enticing preview of coming attractions from Gumball Machine—strong, dark production with sensual vocal delivery, very club-ready.
If you are looking for gay artists or are feeling really gay or just want to feel like you’re in a dark club with neon pink lights and sweat beading on your neck, Gumball Machine is worth a listen. His songs are quirky, full of character and swag, and very, very gay. (I’m gay).