Cut Through the Noise: Phoebe Bridgers, Conan Gray, BETWEEN FRIENDS


Illustration by Isaac Wert

Char Priadka

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 of writer, reviewing recent single releases from a variety of artists.

Phoebe Bridgers – ‘Sidelines’ ★★★★★

Fair use from Dead Oceans

Since the release of Stranger in the Alps in 2018, Phoebe Bridgers has been one of my favorite artists. Known for having a plethora of singles̈ ‘Sidelines̈ takes the stage this week.”‘Sidelines” doesn’t stray from Bridger’s usual melancholic lyrics and wistful melody. The lyrics convey a feeling of disconnecting from your own life. The song shifts into Bridgers returning to her feelings after finding something worth feeling; love. Bridgers also reminisces on her past in the finishing line, “And I used to think I could hear the ocean in a seashell. What a childish thing,” adding a bittersweet nostalgia to the single. The more I listen to this song, the more I find myself enjoying it. The echo effect on Bridger’s voice alongside a synth beat transports the listener into their own mind, almost as if you are hearing someone’s thoughts. The percussion and string addition for the chorus add a lovely slow beat for the lyrics. The themes in this song pull on the heart strings, and will no doubt be added to the list of sad songs by Phoebe Bridgers. Although it leaves the listener somber,”‘Sidelines” is a powerful track that resonates in the heart of every young adult. 

Conan Gray – ‘Memories’ ★★★★☆

Fair use from Republic Records

Soon after Conan’s performance in Minneapolis, Conan Gray released the single “Memories” this week. “Memories” has Gray’s go to themes of heartbreak and yearning. The ballad begs for a past flame to stay in the past in the chorus, “I wish that you would stay in my memories.” The lyrics look back on the painful memories, giving the single its fitting name. The piano gives the piece a sense of grief, while the percussion and electric guitar add an alternative pop feel. Gray’s songs about failed romance are easily relatable, and this single is no different. I avoided giving this single five stars only because Gray has yet to stray from his go-to themes. The song is very well done, but I really hoped to hear something new from Conan Gray. It is easy to become comfortable in what you know, but it holds this song back in the sense that it is really no different from his other works. I would most likely find myself skipping this song after a while, even with its lovely instrumentals. Overall, it’s a nice song, but it gets repetitive. 

BETWEEN FRIENDS – ‘Orange Juice’  ★★★★☆

Fair use from 10K Projects

As April continues on, “Orange Juice” is definitely the most springy song on the list this week. The twinkly melody and layered voices adds a soft, fairy-like feel to the single. Yet, synth beat and added bass shifts the song into an alternative pop genre. This single adds a splash of summer into the mix as it illustrates a warm summer afternoon with a lover. Although the lyrics are nothing too extravagant, less is more when it comes to the carefree feel of this song. I’ve been waiting on the works of BETWEEN FRIENDS since their song, “Affection” was released in 2018.”‘Orange Juice” did not disappoint me, as the upbeat track will sweeten up anyone’s mood. This single will no doubt be popular among teens due to its blissful and alluring nature.