Cut Through the Noise: Lana Del Rey, Taylor Swift ft. Ice Spice, Remi Wolf


Illustration by Isaac Wert

Modesty Manion

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 of writer, reviewing recent single releases from a variety of artists.

Lana Del Rey — ‘Say Yes to Heaven’ ★★★★★

Fair use from VELEM

Lana Del Rey has a ton of unreleased songs that have been leaked after her laptop, camcorders and hard drives were stolen out of her car last year. Del Rey went on Instagram after the incident asking fans not to listen to the music yet, as it was not her intended release. “Say Yes to Heaven” used to be one of these, and the song, as well as a sped up version, blew up on TikTok over the last few months. This caused Del Rey to officially release the original and the sped up versions of the song, which fans were elated about. “Say Yes to Heaven” is one of her more mellow songs, with the main riff being a gentle fingerpicking progression on an acoustic guitar. As with any Lana Del Rey song, her haunting vocals are what draws listeners into the song and make it so addicting. The first time I heard it, I put the song on repeat and listened to it four times. Especially having heard it on TikTok, I loved hearing the full version and being able to access it on Spotify. I do not feel the same way about the sped-up version though. I understand why she released it — the faster version was trending on Tiktok and she wanted to be able to profit off it. This is not a new idea either, as artists such as SZA and Steve Lacy have done the same thing. However, in Lana Del Rey’s case, the sped-up version of “Say Yes to Heaven” should’ve stayed on TikTok. The original’s slower pace and soft melody is part of its appeal. Although I understand that Del Rey is very strategic about the release of her music, I hope that she continues to release her unpublished songs.

Taylor Swift ft. Ice Spice — ‘Karma’ ★★★☆☆

Fair use from Spotify

In the midst of Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour, a lot has happened. Swift announced her rerelease of her 2010 album “Speak Now,” ended her six year relationship with Joe Alwyn and is rumored to now be dating the 1975’s Matty Healy. On top of all of this, Taylor Swift is now adding three new songs to “Midnights.” The original version of the album came out in October, as well as a “3 a.m. version” with seven additional songs. Now, she is adding another three songs to the album’s “Til Dawn Edition.” One of them is a rerecording of a song already on the album, “Karma,” but now featuring up-and-coming rapper Ice Spice. 

When Taylor announced that she would be releasing a song with Ice Spice, I was extremely excited. I am sad to say that the song did not lead up to my expectations. Ice Spice rapping in the second verse is oddly slow, and feels very forced and unnatural. This is very different from her feature on PinkPantheress’ “Boy’s a Liar Pt. 2,” where Spice’s verse flows well. The lyrics Ice Spice sings also seem out of place in the context of the song. Where Swift sings about the positive ramifications of karma, Spice sings about the negatives, saying “Karma is a fire in your house, and she ’boutta pop up unannounced, and she never leavin’ you alone, watch her put ya opps on a throne.” Although this could be considered an interesting contrast, it seems unnecessary. Another part that I didn’t love was when Taylor sings in the bridge, “Karma takes all my friends to the summit” and Ice Spice follows the line with “Facts.” I realize this is nit-picking, but hearing it in the song made me laugh. Overall, even though I love the idea that Taylor Swift and Ice Spice are friends now, their collab really disappointed me. Additionally, the two doing a song together is a bit confusing amid Taylor’s dating rumors. Back in February, Matty Healy went on a podcast and joked around with the two producers about Ice Spice, calling her derogatory names and making fun of her body. When it was rumored that Taylor and Matty were reportedly dating, many fans were criticizing Swift for her performative activism. Now, Taylor and Ice Spice doing a collaboration seems like an effort to save her image from bad publicity. This is just a theory, as is the idea that the song is a sign that Taylor and Matty aren’t dating. Although there is not much evidence to back these ideas up, the seemingly rushed writing and release of the remix is a little suspicious.

Remi Wolf — ‘Prescription’ ★★★★☆

Fair use from Spotify

After performing an incredible set at Coachella, Remi Wolf is back at it again with her song “Prescription.” Remi Wolf’s work is known for having amazing vocals, and this song is no exception. Listening to her sing the line “You make it easy to choose” gives me chills. Her ability to extend her voice so vastly and hit such high and low notes in the same song is astonishing. Unlike many of her other songs, though, “Prescription” is a little boring. The melody is pretty repetitive throughout, not really changing between the verses and the chorus. Compared to some of her bigger hits like “Photo ID” and “Disco Man,” it’s a bit forgettable. If another person were singing, I probably would have no interest in this song. However, because of Remi Wolf’s strong and unique vocals, the song is more fun to listen to. The lyrics also make the song better, as they are a beautiful confessional of deep love. Wolf sings, “You make it easy to choose, you turn my red to my blues, even my mother approves, you’re my one prescription.” Throughout the song, she describes how life has been hard for her lately, but the love of her partner makes things easier. “Prescription” is a cute love song, and although it’s a bit underwhelming, it’s a nice addition to Remi Wolf’s discography.