Cut Through the Noise: Little Mix, Avril Lavigne, Mitski


Maren Wilsey

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. 

Little Mix — ‘Between Us’ ★★☆☆☆

Little Mix’s latest single comes in the wake of a very public conflict between the trio and their former fourth member, Jesy Nelson. The heartfelt track is a dedication to the group’s bond. They sing about sticking together during tough times, which is very fitting for their current situation. It’s a basic pop song with simple, repetitive instrumentals. The song feels like it was created and produced to meet a perceived demand for radio songs. Justin Bieber hooks, Mariah Carey belts and a beat straight-nearly identical to any currently charting song; there’s nothing original about it. This doesn’t necessarily make it a bad song, as the formula it follows has proven to be successful — “pop” is short for popular for a reason. Though for me it’s overdone and the music industry is way too oversaturated with these lifeless songs. Any real depth is lost among the generic beats and repetitive choruses. 

Avril Lavigne — ‘Bite Me’ ★★★☆☆

With the recent resurgence of Y2K trends, I’m not surprised by the change of sound on Avril Lavigne’s newest song. The old pop-punk Lavigne is back. When listening to ‘Bite Me,’ I can’t help but recall the artist’s music from her younger days in the mid-2000s. The desperate girl from “Girlfriend” is all grown up and this time she’s here to tell her ex that she’s never coming back. The song is drum-heavy, which makes sense given its produced by drummer Travis Barker — another main figure in the recent resurgence of pop-punk music. Despite its nostalgia, I wouldn’t choose to listen to this song regularly. The pop-punk style isn’t something I find myself enjoying, and the high pitched belt at the beginning of each chorus is hard to listen to. With that being said, it’s a very well-crafted song. Over ten years later, Lavigne is still the queen of the genre but it’s just not my kind of music. 

Mitski — ‘The Only Heartbreaker’ ★★★★★

The newest single from Mitski goes in a different direction from most of her previous works. The upbeat song stands out from the majority of her discography, which up until now has been filled with a plethora of slow, sad songs. The song is a blend of upbeat drums, guitars and ‘80s style synths. The bass is reminiscent of a heartbeat, a clever juxtaposition of the heartbreak mentioned in the title. When you listen to the lyrics, the familiar Mitski sadness returns. She sings of a relationship where she is the bad guy, wishing her partner would do something wrong so she wouldn’t feel as bad about her own mistakes. The single arrived with the announcement of a new album, setting the tone for the new era of the Mitski-verse. It promises a more sonically upbeat album, with the usual clever, yet depressing lyricism. Overall the image conjured up by the song is a roller rink in an ‘80s movie — a dizzying mess of flashing lights and people, with the main character standing alone in the center, reeling from some stinging betrayal.