Photo: Thurstan Redding

Sprinkled with classic Rina-isms such as a spoken bridge section, metal guitar solos and sparkling vocal riffs, Rina Sawayama’s new single This Hell is an encapsulation of 21st century sounds and country pop.

A euphoric and timeless track, This Hell is not short of pop culture references, nodding to Shania Twain and Paris Hilton with phrases such as “let’s go girls” and “that’s hot”. 

Sawayama continually circulates back to the refrain, “This hell is better with you,” while dropping in iconic names such as Whitney Houston, Britney Spears and Princess Diana.

Rina sends rightful jabs at the paparazzi, yet alongside the repetition of “This hell is better with you” creates a sense of community between those mentioned, the audience and Rina herself. 

The single anticipates a “new era” of music from Rina Sawayama, who commented on the single upon its release via Instagram.

“I wanted to write a western pop song that celebrated community and love in a time where the world seemed hellish,” Rina said.

“It’s an important song for me given the human rights that are being taken away from minorities at a rapid rate in the name of traditional religious beliefs, more specifically I was thinking about the rights being taken away from the LGBTQ community when I wrote this song.”

Rina’s new album Hold The Girl will be released on 2 September and will be followed by a UK tour in October. You can stream This Hell here.