“Bad Thing” feels like Jesy Nelson starting over after leaving her record label Polydor and, of course, standing on her own two feet without the former members of her girl group, Little Mix.
After releasing “Boyz” featuring Nicki Minaj, in 2021 and dealing with the backlash that came from it, the singer-songwriter decided to take a step back from music. Now back with her first musical offering of the year, “Bad Thing” is Nelson’s second solo single and the first in over a year and a half.
Drawing from the indie-pop sound reminiscent of Lana Del Rey and Billie Eilish, Nelson used “Bad Thing” to address the dreadful subject of domestic violence and was wonderfully praised by fans for it.
“Hey, we started at the end / Another second chance / To fuck it up again / I know I’m good alone / But you feel just like home / My favorite kind of wrong / Familiar as a song, oh,” she sings in the opening verse of the song she said was inspired by her childhood.
Putting into perspective the reason why some people won’t leave behind an abusive partner, she sings in the second verse, “I know what I deserve/But you just say the words / And I won’t put me first.”
In an interview with The Mirror, the English singer chatted about the reason she penned the emotional track, saying, “Growing up my dad wasn’t around. He wasn’t the best, he was in and out of prison, so I haven’t had many good men role models in my life.”
The accompanying music video opens with a warning that reads, “This film is based on real life events and includes scenes of a sensitive nature and domestic violence. Viewer discretion is advised.”
In the video, we see, Nelson’s onscreen persona, a waitress, meet a guy, who she immediately clicks with. They go on dates and have many fun times, before ultimately moving in together. The love interest (played by Sid Ellisdon) is battling with infidelity, drugs, and rolling with the wrong crowd in London’s East End in the sixties. Towards the end, he’s shown spending time with his fellow gang members while Nelson is at home preparing food. After cheating on her with another woman, he comes home and abuses her when she confronts him about his behavior. The lyric video ends with the abusive lover consoling a crying Nelson.
Directed by Charlie Sarsfield, Nelson worked with Women’s Aid to present a graphic detail of the highs and lows of being in an abusive relationship.