Cut Through The Noise: Machine Gun Kelly, Bombay Bicycle Club, Laura White


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.


‘why are you here’ – Machine Gun Kelly ★★★☆☆

Fair use from: Bad Boy/Interscope Records

Machine Gun Kelly’s latest song, “why are you here,” is a mediocre rock and roll track that, as a whole, is boring and forgettable. The song starts off with well-placed gang-vocals and a basic rock and roll beat. The hook is decent and catchy, but it grows repetitive over the course of the song. Throughout the song, the lyrics are decent and there are a few standout lines, specifically in the second verse when Machine Gun Kelly rhymes the same vowel sound seven times within one stanza, including the use of an additional internal rhyme three times within the last line. The guitar sounds used are reminiscent of the late 80’s and early 90’s, and the pre-chorus is styled similarly, adding a slightly different facet to the tune. The pre-chorus is exceptional and perfectly builds the anticipation of the chorus and the verses make use of interesting, different rhythms. However, the chorus feels tired and worn out and entirely underwhelming. The bridge is essentially another iteration of the basic, boring chorus, adding to the poor enjoyment toward the end. The song is low energy overall, especially for a rock and roll track. Despite all of the garbage that is the chorus and the bridge, the song has redeemable elements and is mostly enjoyable in the end. 


‘Racing Stripes’ – Bombay Bicycle Club ★★★★☆

Fair use from: Mmm…Records

Though a surprise is hard to come by in today’s music industry, Bombay Bicycle Club’s “Racing Stripes” manages to do just that. Breaking from the typical format of a song, “Racing Stripes” doesn’t seem to have much of a structure with one medium-sized verse and one extremely long chorus. The song is almost a stream of consciousness about the value of adventure and perseverance, seemingly supporting the common quote said by J.R.R. Tolkien, “not all those who wander are lost.” Through this spirit, the tune encourages exploration and a renewed sense of wonder. The song feels like a modernized version of “White Winter Hymnal,” by Fleet Foxes as it employs a similarly limited quantity of different lyrics and makes great use of variations on a theme as well as poetically unclear lyrics. The synth in the background mirrors the vocals, giving the words a starry, wistful vibe. Though much is repeated, the song never feels repetitive. The lyrics are vague but still paint an interesting, charming picture. Despite the oddness of the song, it still is enjoyable and evokes a peaceful, almost magical feeling in the listener. 


‘Nobody’ – Laura White ★★★★★

Fair use from: Dizzi Records

“Nobody,” Laura White’s first single is a beautiful, soulful ballad, reminiscent of the musical style of Adele. The vocals throughout the track are breathtaking and White’s talent shines through in this song. Starting out strong with a pretty opening riff on the piano, the song does a great job of bringing the listener in and building the excitement until the climax in the third chorus, keeping their attention until the very end. Though the style and subject of the song is fairly derivative, White’s distinctive vocals and style distinguishes it from others in the genre. The melody in the verses is moving and allows for White to have essentially free reign in her riffing on the verses. The chorus has a gorgeous and catchy melody, the lyrics are mostly simplistic and allow for the vocals and melody to shine in a song where both are breathtaking. Not to mention the use of violins adding to the drama and emotion of the song. The positive, strengthening message adds to the overall triumphant feel of the tune.