Following close on the heels of their first solo music project Ushamami, music producer and multimedia artist Mena Sachdev returns this fall as Blue Mena. With the September release of their music video for debut single “Knocked Out,” Blue Mena exudes continuity and growth from Ushamami, as they construct a distinct alternative pop-rock sound to center queer expression and selfhood.

“Knocked Out” is a chilling synergy of its surrealist visual aesthetic, detached physicality, and dry candid voice – a convergence that lays bare the continual angst of living in a heteronormative world. A flurry of light-footed guitar strums draws us into the song, setting the stage for Mena’s nonchalant, flowing verses and the deceptively airy vibe they evoke.

A palpable sense of unsettlement follows not long after, when Mena, half-submerged in a pool, starts to extend musical phrases, letting them blend into the dense timbre of discordant brass. Moving in succession from dining table to bedroom to armchair, Mena looks on intently yet expressionless, as though daring the world to cast a skewed gaze on their day-to-day experience.

“Knocked Out” functions as an aural capsule of trans subjectivity, one that proudly refuses to perform or conform to gender in black and white. Reclaiming the “ease” they once “left behind,” Blue Mena inspires a return to true self.