No one does the combination of cute and creepy quite as well as Melanie Martinez.
And, if you missed it when it was released this weekend, she’s done it again with the mesmerizing music video for “Mad Hatter.”
With the help of lots of computer-generated efforts, it’s probably the best of Melanie’s self-directed music videos yet.
And that’s saying something considering the popularity of those videos.
We keep hearing about how The Voice hasn’t produced a breakout artist yet, and it’s certainly true that Melanie isn’t a household name like Kelly Clarkson or Carrie Underwood.
But consider these tidbits:
* Melanie’s debut album, “Cry Baby” has now been on the Billboard 200 for 110 consecutive weeks — more than two years. Compare that to the top-selling albums from Voice winners — Jordan Smith’s “Beautiful Life” (8 weeks); Cassadee Pope’s “Frame by Frame” (16 weeks); Danielle Bradbery’s self-titled debut album (9 weeks).
* Melanie has racked up 388,000 album sales for “Cry Baby” and more than 1 million equivalent album sales, according to Billboard.
* Melanie has 55 million subscribers to her YouTube channel, where here videos have been viewed nearly 100 million times.
Those are some impressive numbers.
“Mad Hatter” marks the 13th and final video from Melanie’s “Cry Baby” album. She’s busy working on album number two. And, according to a recent interview with Billboard, this one will be accompanied by a full-length feature film — directed by Melanie, of course — rather than an occasional music video.
Now, not everyone appreciates Melanie’s art. So she responded on Instagram to the haters who surfaced after “Mad Hatter” landed with lyrics proclaiming “all the best people / are crazy.”
“If you don’t like pop surrealism you probably won’t like me,” she writes. “If you can’t understand that visual art has a deeper meaning and you only look at it for face value you probably won’t get my work.
“If you can’t understand that crybaby is a character, that the first record is representative of her childhood, and If you sexualize female pop artists on the daily you’ll say I ‘sexualize babies.’
“If you can’t understand why someone would bring up mental health, growing pains from childhood to adolescence, family issues, and other uncomfortable topics we never hear about in pop music, you will probably just throw my music and art away as something that ‘glamorizes mental health issues’ even though most of the people that resonate with my work deal with these things on a day to day and someone needs to be there for them.
“So here I am. If you have issues with my music and art and judge it so harshly to the point of making up your own reason as to what my intentions where when making it, you should just stop watching it. Because quite frankly, you. Just. Don’t. Get. It.”
Here’s to you, Melanie, all of 22. And here’s “Mad Hatter.”