Cut Through the Noise: Grimes ft. i_o, Charli XCX ft. Clairo, Yaeji, OneRepublic

Svea Bleske

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.

“Violence” 一 Grimes (ft. i_o) ★★☆☆☆

Fair Use from 4AD Records

Grimes is back with a new single, the second one since the release of her album, “Art Angels”, back in 2015. Lyrically, the song is quite dark, depicting what some may consider an abusive relationship. The sound, however, is very much the opposite, with synth heavy verses and a light, catchy chorus. As someone who has been a big fan of Grimes since the beginning, the instrumentals and the vocals were a bit of a let down. I was hoping for something a bit more upbeat in terms of sound and tempo. Hopefully she’ll make up for it with the release of her newest album, due sometime later this year.


“February 2017” 一 Charli XCX (ft. Clairo, Yaeji) ★★★★☆

Fair Use from Atlantic Records

I am a pretty big fan of Charli XCX and Clairo, so this collaboration was really cool to listen to. The sound of “February 2017” is very nostalgic, and I feel like it brings you back to simpler times. The lyrics depict Charli’s complicated relationship with her current boyfriend, Huck Kwong. The verses mention her shoving her emotions deep down to hide her loneliness and guilt, while the chorus and post-chorus contain an apology and has her asking for Kwong’s forgiveness. It was really cool to listen to the transition in tempo between the verse and the chorus, which got faster and more upbeat as the song went on. Overall, I was impressed, and I am crossing my fingers that there is another collaboration like this in the future. 


“Wanted” 一 OneRepublic ★★★★☆

Fair Use from Interscope Records

OneRepublic has a new sound, and I am here for it. The song tells a story of a girl just wanting to be loved by what could possibly be a friend or a partner. Right from the beginning, the lyrics mesh together perfectly with the synthesizer. Going into the chorus, a more hopeful sound comes in the form of a violin, giving the vocals more fluidity. What I like the most about this song is that it never seems like one part of the instrumentals is the main focus. There is sometimes a stronger emphasis, but it never overpowers or takes away from enjoying the song. OneRepublic has certainly crafted a beautiful piece of art with this release, and I am excited for what they do next.