Cut Through the Noise: Lil’ Dicky, Cage the Elephant, Jade Bird (Week of April 26)


Illustration by Isaac Wert

Evelyn Nelson

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 School Boy Records

“Earth” — Lil’ Dicky ★★★☆☆

While Lil’ Dicky’s newest single “Earth” highlights the importance of loving our planet, listeners might not love a new approach to this topic. Released on April 19, the single provided a way to look forward to this year’s Earth Day. The beginning of the song incorporates the melody featuring Lil’ Dicky himself. Yet a sharp twist introduced featured celebrity appearances like Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande and Snoop Dogg. Connecting each celebrity with animal-related lyrics was something completely unexpected that I have never seen an artist do. I applaud “Earth” for putting a fun twist on the topic of preserving our planet, while continuing Dicky’s pop/rap music style. The song is a lighthearted approach to important topics; however it was hard to grasp the animal visuals Lil’ Dicky was highlighting through his lyrics. Releasing an animated music video on April 22 gave the song even more of an exciting takeaway.

Fair use from RCA Records

“Broken Boy” — Cage The Elephant ★★★★☆

Cage The Elephant’s typical audience showcases the more hipster and indie aspects of music. However, the band’s newest song “Broken Boy” changes an old routine and provides an intriguing sound. When first listening, I assumed the usual style of their music will be highlighted in this song. Yet not even 30 seconds in, I am introduced to a nostalgic ‘80s sound through the style of singing and accompanying music. The song features a strong guitar focus with a melody that definitely gets my head bopping. Showing this song to my friends definitely was an interesting experience in seeing their reactions. Even though it may be harder to hear the specific lyrics, that vintage style is very entertaining for someone who was not present in that era. While the title “Broken Boy” seems to direct a sad and tear-inducing experience, this feel-good song shows the exact opposite.

Fair use from Glassnote Records

“Side Effects” — Jade Bird ★★★☆☆

Jade Bird’s first album offers a fresh and eclectic sound to the relevant topics today’s current music showcases. “Side Effects,” a single on the album, combines a jentle sound with an invested storyline that brings listeners in. The lyrics explore a somewhat overused theme surrounding the trials and tribulations of romance. Bird sings about wanting to get out and run away from the world with a partner mentioned in the storyline. While many may view the song in this light, as a graduating senior, this song hit home through my own experience of graduating. Bird’s lyrics remind me of how I want to make the most of my last memories with my closest friends and even people I have rarely talked to. Alongside the sweet message, the upbeat sound adds to the funky spring and summer vibes of blasting the song in your car with all the windows down. The overall aesthetic Bird presents through her album is definitely present in this song, and is a great way to kick-start her debut album.