Cut Through The Noise: Daniel Caesar, Billie Marten, Ellie Goulding


Alex Hoag

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 releases from a variety of artists.


Daniel Caesar — ‘Always’ ★★★★★

Fair use from Genius

Popular R&B singer Daniel Caesar just released his fourth album on April 7, which included the song “Always.” By no means am I an avid R&B listener or a Daniel Caesar expert, but I can say that I thoroughly enjoyed this tune. The song starts off slow, with just a few beats and a focus on Caesar’s voice. The beginning is very calm and gradually starts to incorporate piano, drums and vocal layering. Each time a new instrument or voice is added to the song, it adds a depth that will leave you in awe and wanting more. This song is almost four minutes in length, but I wish it was 14. Caesar’s voice is so tranquil, this song will almost put you to sleep. Typically when artists release their third or fourth album, they start to run out of ideas or the songs become boring. This is far from the case with this album, and this song is proof. Even though the song was just made up of keys, drums and vocals, it felt unique. Maybe it was the instrument transitions, Caesar’s voice or maybe it was the way the drum beats added a subtle presence without becoming overpowering. Whatever the case, I can for sure say that this song deserves as much and more praise as it is getting. Everything Caesar creates feels unique, while sticking to the R&B genre.


Billie Marten — ‘Drop Cherries’ ★★★★★

Fair use from Genius

Billie Marten just recently released the song “Drop Cherries,” along with an album of the same name on April 7. I have heard a few Billie Marten songs in the past and have really enjoyed them. They are all very beautiful and seem to belong in an A24 coming-of-age film. However, this one left me amazed. The beginning of the song starts off with the playing of an acoustic guitar. The guitar is a staple in most modern music, but for some reason it felt special in this tune due to it being raw and full of emotion. Marten left in the sound of the squeaking fretboards, making the song sound imperfect, which fits the song perfectly. The guitar is such an important part of the song, that you need every part of it (no matter how “slick” it is) included. Even though the guitar is very important, it is only half of what’s needed to create this song — you also need a voice like Marten’s. There are parts of this song where Marten’s voice seems to crack, leaving you to feel the emotion that she put into the song. The microphone is also very close to her mouth, which creates an intimate feeling between Marten and the listener. The only critique I have is the similarity of this song to many of her others. It doesn’t seem to be any different from much of her other material, which would have been nice to hear. Overall, this song is beyond beautiful and I always am thrilled when a Billie Marten song comes on. Her voice is so mesmerizing and I can’t get enough.


Ellie Goulding — ‘Cure for Love’ ★★☆☆☆

Fair use from Genius

Ellie Goulding released a new album called “Higher Than Heaven” on April 7. The second song off the album is “Cure For Love.” To be completely honest, I didn’t go into this song with too much hope. Goulding creates music that I don’t typically listen to, so I automatically wrote it off. Overall, this song isn’t good but it isn’t as bad as I expected it to be. Even if you don’t listen to Goulding’s music you can’t write it off. She has a unique voice that compliments the pop genre that she has created. This song is very poppy and just seems like typical party music that you can dance to without really listening to. It’s a catchy tune, but lacks the emotion that the other songs on this list have. This song is made up of digital beats accompanied with Goulding’s voice, which is the main reason I didn’t like it. A lot of popular artists these days don’t include actual instruments, and instead only have digital or electronic beats to them. When you take away the instruments from the music, you are taking away the thing that makes the song beautiful. Goulding seemed to peak in the 2010s, and I think it would’ve been better if she just stayed there.