Melanie Martinez - After School
Updated: May 17, 2022
Artwork by Robyn Lee
It has been less than a year since singer-songwriter Melanie Martinez came back to the music scene after a three-year hiatus. Her sophomore album, K-12, and its corresponding film of the same name, marked the end of her three-year hiatus. She announced on her Instagram story that she would be releasing seven songs in 2020. Many fans speculated about an EP release to accompany K-12, especially considering a song that is not on the album was featured in the film’s credits and fans allegedly overheard Martinez rehearsing unreleased music behind the scenes.
On Feb. 9, Martinez confirmed the speculations on her Instagram stories: K-12 would have a sequel released as an EP, After School, that would be coming out “sooner than you think.” She then released “Copy Cat” featuring Tierra Whack, the next day. In the same Instagram story, she praised Whack as “one of [her] favorite artists.”
“Copy Cat” is the first time Martinez has collaborated with another artist or incorporated hip-hop into her music. However, she keeps her same take on avant-garde pop and Whack’s rapping meshes seamlessly into the track. This single was certainly an unexpected release in its style, but it is a welcomed sneak-peek into After School.
“Copy Cat” is a vicious jab at another singer-songwriter, Timothy Heller. Martinez and Heller had been friends when they began their journeys as musicians. However, Heller accused Martinez of sexual assault in a now-deleted tweet. Martinez responded to the claim that Heller repeatedly said “no” with “she never said ‘no’.” It did not take long for Martinez’s quote to be perceived as victim-blaming Heller.
Some inconsistencies of Heller’s accusation were quickly noticed. The date of the alleged incident — June 25, 2015 — just so happens to overlap with Martinez’s Cry Baby tour. This contradicts Heller’s claim that the alleged sexual assault occurred in Martinez’s house. Heller responded to this criticism by claiming “it’s frustrating to feel like I need to prove myself to people who clearly have no sympathy for victims.” Additionally, screenshots from deleted posts show that Heller not only stayed in contact with Martinez but also dressed up as Martinez and tagged her in a now-deleted Instagram post.
After School is expected to be released in spring 2020.