By Stephanie Giannuzzi
Over the years, amazing music from many different backgrounds and influences has surfaced, but I want to pay appreciation to artists who have developed a unique skill that involves a savvy way of making music. Pop music can be an addictive genre of music, but when it is combined with meaningful lyrics and authentic production, it turns out to be a masterpiece.
My first example is “Noises” by Pale Waves. Their sound as a band is pure rock pop and it’s refreshing to hear pop music that is not altered to guarantee getting stuck in someone’s head, and then have the radio call it “a hit.” This track entails a strong strummy guitar, with deep drum beats along with Heather, the lead singer’s vocals that tie everything together. The sound of the song is catchy and dance-worthy but the track emits a more meaningful message when you listen to the lyrics.
The lyrics are about mental health and the struggle of depression, self-sabotage, self-doubt, and being ashamed of it all. “My mind makes noises too much, I feel like I’m slowly losing myself, I’m afraid that I need help.”
The slippery slope of the lines is vital and relatable, and Heather is pouring out what it’s like to be mentally ill and feeling like you’re a nuisance when all you need is help. “What do you see when you look at me? I can’t control my emotions lately. I’m excited, I’m sad, then baby I’ve had it.” The duality of this music and the words is powerful and will stick with you as you allow the message and the art of it all to take you for a ride.
I want to introduce my next example, with “UGH!” by The 1975. This band is known for throwing you the greatest pop songs but it never stops there when you look a little further into the lyrics to gain a beneficial exchange.
If you listen to this song casually, you’ll find yourself dancing to the synthy drum beats, groovy guitar strums, and tiny pop nuances, but what is behind this beautifully orchestrated track is the lyrics about drug addiction, greed, and narcissism. “I know your lungs need filling, since your gums have lost their feeling. But don’t say that you’re giving it up again.”
The whole track Matty, the lead singer, is talking about his addiction, knowing he has a problem and his ego getting mixed in within his addiction. This is also another slippery but different slope when it comes to addiction because it can take over your whole life.
“And you’re the only thing that’s going on in my mind. Taking over my life a second time. I don’t have the capacity for f-, you’re meant to be helping me.” It’s ambivalent when you realize what you’re listening to, but it’s juxtaposed with music that’s appealing and poppy and it leaves you puzzled but restored at the same time.
Featured Image by Stephanie Giannuzzi