ARCTIC MONKEY — “I AIN’T QUITE WHERE I THINK I AM”
Arctic Monkeys’ second track off their newest album, The Car, demonstrates the tonal richness of the record. “I Ain’t Quite Where I Think I Am” begins with an irreverently sung “wah” — a stark contrast to the romantic strings that begin the first track, “There’d Better Be a Mirrorball.” It then immediately settles into a funk sound with half-ironic lyrics. A confident guitar line and falsetto harmonies seem to establish the song as a playful one, but a layer of strings comes in during the second verse, adding an unexpected gravity to Alex Turner’s deprecatory observations. The result is a feeling that there is sincerity to Turner’s hints at disillusionment, behind his amused approach to the bizarre and off-kilter.
- Abby Lee, Staff Writer
YEAH YEAH YEAHS — “WOLF”
The Yeah Yeah Yeahs are going feral on their track “Wolf.” The YYYs recently released their fifth studio album Cool It Down, their first release in nine years. Before now, their most recent work was 2013’s Mosquito. With this new album, we see the group step into a new era; one where they shed their electrifying vibe for a softer, more tempered vibe.
Nonetheless, with this leap the YYYs maintain their eclecticism and lyrical vulnerability. “Wolf,” as the title suggests, has primal energy. The song has a rich narrative built into its lyrics, a skill the trio has mastered during its time. The song delves into themes of wildness, longing for connection, hunger, and a primal instinct. Karen O sings, “I'm lost and I'm lonely, I hunger for you only. Don't leave me now, don't break the spell. In Heaven, lost my taste for Hell.” The song is reflective of the album’s larger exploration of intimacy. This compelling new avenue for the YYYs is exciting and has listeners howling for more.
- Breanna Nesbeth, Staff Writer
RIPE — “NOISE IN THE FOREST”
Ripe’s latest single “Noise In the Forest,” released mid-September, is the epitome of a feel-good song. The single from the Boston alternative-pop band is the type that would play indefinitely in someone’s “summer vibes” playlist. It lures listeners in with catchy pop tunes and the powerful vocals of lead singer Robbie Wulfsohn. Its chorus is explosive and exciting, making it hard not to bust a move.
The lyricism, however, has darker undertones. “Noise In the Forest” takes a deep dive into fear, anger and the frustrations of life. Wulfsohn wrote that the inspiration for the song derived from a conversation about “the capacity for anger.” He recalled a show he played in 2020 at Boston’s House of Blues where he opened up to the audience about his capacity for anger. He shared how when he was younger his anger “went from 0-10 in a way that was shocking.” The tour they were on at the time was one he remembers as pleasant, though, which led him to take “a loving looking” at anger. “Where that led me was a love letter to the band, the community, and the symbiotic relationship that we have.”
With “Noise in the Forest,” Ripe manages to shift complicated experiences of emotions into a beautiful, energizing reflection. Ultimately, it stands as a journey of letting go.
- Isabella Kohn, Staff Writer
SOCCER MOMMY — “FEEL IT ALL THE TIME”
With her latest album Sometimes, Forever, Sophie Allison, a.k.a Soccer Mommy, delivers the intensely vulnerable “Feel It All the Time.” The album, released in June, has struck a chord with her usual younger audience. “Feel It All the Time” particularly embodies the nauseating burn-out and fatigue young people feel today more than ever. “I’m just 22 going on 23, already worn down from everything,” she sings. These difficult feelings find comfort in the song’s music video. Directed by Zev Magasis, the video shows Allison riding a horse and a pickup truck with ease, depicting the comforts of her suburban upbringing.
The slow pacing and humor of the video take some of the weight off of the lyrics. The line “‘Cause I’m gaspin’ for air, and I don’t feel nothin’” can seem bleak alone. Paired with shots of Allison wielding a sword — and guitar, though it’s unclear which symbolizes which — “Feel It All the Time” invites listeners to have a laugh, even if it’s at her expense, because we’re all feeling it with her.
- T.J. Grant, Staff Writer
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