Cut Through the Noise: Wallows, Billie Eilish, Florida Georgia Line (Week of Feb. 8)

Illustration+by+Isaac+Wert
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Cut Through the Noise: Wallows, Billie Eilish, Florida Georgia Line (Week of Feb. 8)

Illustration by Isaac Wert

Illustration by Isaac Wert

Illustration by Isaac Wert

Illustration by Isaac Wert

Samantha Klepfer

Welcome to “Cut Through the Noise,” an entertainment column from the St. Louis Park Echo covering new music releases. Every week, a different Echo staffer takes on the role as writer, reviewing recent single releases from a variety of artists.

 

Fair use from Atlantic Records

“Are You Bored Yet?” – Wallows feat. Clairo ★★★☆☆

Wallows’ latest release “Are You Bored Yet?” gives off a strong old-school vibe; starting off with a synth and guitar heavy intro that leads into the relaxed track. The production of the song is well done, giving it a distinctly retro feel, especially when the vocals in the chorus kick in. The tune was released in anticipation of Wallows’ album, “Nothing Happens,” which is set to hit stores late March. The melody is catchy, and the vocals are decent, but neither really pull the listener in. The lyrics are good, though nothing incredible. Standout lines like “stalling only goes so far when you’ve got a head start,” and “will you tell the truth, so I don’t have to lie?” add to the heartache vibe of the track. Clairo’s feature on “Are You Bored Yet?” adds little to help round off the track. Her simple vocals blend with the rest of the track and don’t contribute much to the song overall. The entire song is very laid back, which only emphasizes the fact that it lacks any excitement.

 

Fair use from Interscope Records

“bury a friend” – Billie Eilish ★★★★☆

“bury a friend” by Billie Eilish is one of the more interesting tracks of the current slew of pop music, though nothing too different for Eilish herself. The song has a great, creative beat to hold up the overall simple structure that uses a good amount of syncopation to keep it interesting while staying straightforward. The heavy use of a vocoder increases the feeling of supernatural forces that highlight the track. From the laid back vocals to the extremely morbid — though well-written — lyrics, the whole song gives off a strong horror vibe. The instrumental also fits the theme, laying in screams at points of emphasis. Despite the overall creepiness, the melody is actually fairly enjoyable and even catchy, which is especially impressive considering the nature of the track. The simplicity of “bury a friend” allows for aspects such as Eilish’s vocals, and the piercing screams in the background to stand out. Though the ghoulish vibe can be off-putting at times, the song manages to be original and enjoyable.

 

Fair use from Big Machine Records

“Women” – Florida Georgia Line feat. Jason Derulo ★★☆☆☆

“Women” by Florida Georgia Line ft. Jason Derulo is a flat, dud of a song. Combining artists with polarizing genres like Jason Derulo and Florida Georgia Line is a challenge to begin with, but when you add on the fact that the song itself is lacking in substance, it ends up being a complete mess. “Woman” wastes no time getting to the bad, country-style lyrics, with “well, starting out, the only one you love is mama” being only the first of the unoriginal, shallow lyrics. The melody is decent and extremely country, which makes the parts where Derulo sings — in a distinctly not-country way — jarring. Derulo’s incredible vocals are completely wasted on “Women” as his talents are mostly relegated to a few embellishments in the background and limited high harmonies. On top of all that, the song barely has a climax, allowing the whole track to pass by in a blur of generic country music and god awful lyrics.

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