If you didn’t know singer-songwriter Mara Connor hailed from Los Angeles, the breezily glum sound of her debut single “No Fun” would be a giveaway. Playing brightly deliberate strumming and briskly grand strings against Connor’s bell-clear voice, “No Fun” is a portrait of resolve masking anticipated rejection. Connor describes her hesitancy toward her feelings as strings and backing vocals rise up behind her, bolstering her confidence until, finally, she’s ready to broach the question: “Do you want me too?” Her voice falters just enough on that final “too” to make the returning strings seem like they’re existing to reassure her one last time.
The accompanying video for “No Fun” is similarly soaked in California imagery, its motifs—a makeout-heavy party, a brightly hued bowling alley, a sun-soaked pool party, a skaters’ hang—full of beautiful people having beautiful times while Connor sets herself apart, lost in her feelings. When she does make a big splash, the people around her take notice—but instead of joining them, she saunters off, satisfied that she’s made herself someone to remember. With its simple hook and gorgeous arrangement (courtesy of Margo Price/Alabama Shakes producer Andrija Tokic) “No Fun,” which will appear on Connor’s 2019 debut full-length, accomplishes that feat as well.