Our past can haunt us. Each painful experience we suffer leaves a scar that will be with us our whole life, influencing our worldview. We start to behave a certain way, adopting certain attitudes that sometimes hurt those around us. We then shift the resposibility of that damage to our past: “Its not my fault being this way, I’m only like this because of the pain I lived through”. However, how much accountable are we of our own actions? Is it really fair to blame all of our mistakes to forces that go beyond our control?
These questions are what influenced today’s featured track “Puppet Show“, the electro pop debut single form New York City based singer-songwriter Stephanie Mignogna, also known under the name Serpenta. Appearing in regional theater productions since her childhood, Serpenta is influenced by singers from the dramatic type, such as Freddy Mercury, Lady Gaga and David Bowie, as well as fashion designers from the likes of Alexander McQueen, Thierry Mugler and Christian Lacroix at an aesthetic level. With “Puppet Show”, Serpenta mixes theater and music to present a sound that is full of personal expression, atmosphere and emotion.
“Puppet Show” relates directly to Serpenta’s own personal experiences and thoughts about the track’s main theme: accountability. It confronts us with the difficult reality that there is really no one else to blame for some of our actions, except ourselves:
As my relationships became more damaged, I started to think about how much I was contributing to them. I did not want to accept any sort of responsibility after all, I never caused the initial pain from my past. However, I couldn’t really hide from it and accountability was always looming over me in some ways. I tried to blame everyone else around me, those in my past, some sick force within the universe… I decided that I couldn’t continue on like this for the sake of myself and the people I love the most. […] Truth be told, a lot of shitty things happen in our lives we can’t control, but addressing the ugly parts of yourself, you can control. -Serpenta
The lyrics of “Puppet Show” are full dark images and themes that make us reflect of our own responsibility of our mistakes. The puppet is a metaphor of how we feel when things don’t really go the way we expect them to. We are misled to believe that we are destined to live and act a certain kind of life. It is not our fault, it is the fault of the puppetmaster that made me do it. But who is really behind the curtains? Who is to blame?
“Puppet Show” is dark and mysterious. The track starts with what seems to be a music box that is later joined by strings and a drum beat as if they were setting the stage of the puppet show. The mix of orchestral and electronic sounds is what allows it to have its characteristic mood. It boosts Serpenta’s vocals to be raw and honest about what she really feels and is thinking: they are full of anger and sadness. They allow the images from the lyrics to fully flourish, while being direct with her emotions. She effortlessly allows dramatic touches in her voice, demonstrating her talent in theatrics without the need of anything else.
Serpenta is a singer-songwriter that allows herself to be raw and honest with what she is feeling. “Puppet Show”, albeit its dark themes, is a great track for one to get to know her style and her approach to songwriting. We are sure there is more of her to come in the future, and we can’t wait to hear more!
Don’t forget to support this project and to follow on Instagram, TikTok, SoundCloud, and Spotify. It also helps to stream and share her music; you can obviously find it in the following Playlists: Less Than 1,000 Followers, Fresh Singles, Indie Only, Debut Bands (Off The Radar), and Female Rising Stars.
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