JEAN DAWSON — “PIRATE RADIO”
Up-and-coming experimental pop musician Jean Dawson takes us through the highs and lows of his emotions in his song “Pirate Radio.” The song opens with the quiet melody of the acoustic guitar, alongside Dawson's raspy, yet soulful voice. This gentle opening makes the loud crescendos of the orchestra later in the song feel as if you’ve been immersed in his ocean of feelings. This combination of contrasting sounds makes for a listening experience just as intimate as his lyrics.
Dawson sings about his fears and anxieties in a way that most male artists never do. He compares his feelings to a large open pool which he cannot escape. He paints that he’s constantly going above and below the surface just to feel something. And later, he compares his state of being to floating in the water with nowhere to turn for help: “My paddle is broken, I’m out in the open… No grip on the shore.”
This song is his “Pirate Radio” — narrating his experiences with depression and anxiety and broadcasting them to the world. Jean Dawson carries us along for the ride in a way that is beautiful and moving. He wants everyone to know that he isn’t okay, and sends a message to listeners that they’re not alone if they feel the same.
- Sidnie Paisley Thomas, Staff Writer
DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE — “FOXGLOVE THROUGH THE CLEARCUT”
Death Cab for Cutie’s single “Foxglove Through the Clearcut'' from their most recent album, Asphalt Meadows, is both rich in instrumentals and meaning. Lead singer Ben Gibbard, beautifully delivers a performance that is poetic and narrative in nature.
Alongside the striking and electrifying guitar solos and mellow-like lyricism, Gibbard’s storytelling captivates listeners. “Foxglove Through the Clearcut'' entrances individuals into a world where “there is nowhere left to go.” One where you “slowly slip away,” and eventually, once perished into the unknowingness of death, are “reaching for the sky.” In a sense, Death Cab for Cutie approaches this single from an existential and even self-reflecting perspective. They explore the meaning of life and the feelings of futility and confusion that derive from being unacquainted with one’s personal path.
- Isabella Kohn, Staff Writer
DODIE — “GOT WEIRD”
Dodie drops a funky beat in her newest song, “Got Weird,” perfectly encapsulating the awkward energy that is dating. Everything from the rhythm to her song lyrics reflect how cringey hookup culture in your twenties actually is, and yet Dodie ties it all together so naturally. The track is clear-cut and tells the hard truth when your average pop song romanticizes sexual tension.
“Got Weird” is one of her four songs in her newest EP Hot Mess, which dropped on September 30th. The EP follows Dodie’s 2021 album Build a Problem, transitioning from the depths of heartache to the panic of dating. From hesitating on what to drink to hiding in a bathroom to having spiraling thoughts of becoming your parent, Dodie demonstrates the social anxieties of dating in such a raw manner. And because of that, it’s easy to resonate with the British singer. Dodie understands that “Got Weird” is just the beginning of our hot mess, which is why we can so easily listen to it.
- Lauren Surbey, Staff Writer
RUBBLEBUCKET — “GEOMETRY”
The song “Geometry” by indie-rock band Rubblebucket is one of 13 songs, including the intro track, in the band’s newest album Earth Worship. As implied by its name, the album is an ode to the relationship between humans and our planet. It’s about “allowing ourselves to grieve and be tender together, learning how to separate from what isn’t needed anymore, like a leaf off of a branch in fall, or like the linden flowers that are blooming now on the trees,” said lead singer Annakalmia Traver in a preview of Earth Worship that he put out along with fellow band leader Alex Toth.
“Geometry” starts off with a dramatic instrumental arrangement, later infused with catchy pop beats. The soothing vocals of Traver begin the track, followed by Toth’s background vocals coming in to compliment. The song’s heavy presence of guitar and saxophone tunes is the main culprit for the song's massive inducement of serotonin. Along with the catchy nature of the song is the intriguing lyricism. It narrates the singers as being inside a painting and wanting a change in scenery or an escape from their “personal hell.” They suggest this may be achieved by drawing lines to one another and making “geometry.”
- Isabella Kohn, Staff Writer
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