Ellie’s Pick: “Johnny” – Faye Webster
I think Faye Webster has to be one of my favorite songwriters ever. Her lyrics are simple, but they’re honest and that’s what makes them so impactful. She says exactly what you’re feeling and thinking, making it real and relatable. Her cadence and tone as well fuels the emotions described by her words. As one of my biggest inspirations, it only made sense to choose a song by her.
Faye Webster is a twenty-five year old singer-songwriter from Atlanta, Georgia. Coming from a music family she began writing music at a young age. Attending Belmont University for songwriting, she soon dropped out, deciding to pursue music on her own. Webster made a deal that if she didn’t see success she’d go back to school, but clearly she made the right call. Her music is a cross between folk, alt-country, and R&B. With 4 studio albums she now has over 2.5 million monthly Spotify listeners.Jonny is one of those songs that everyone can relate to. Feeling like your love is unrequited and that the person never really cared for you is a common thought. The chorus “Jonny, did you ever love me? Jonny, help me figure it out. Not that I’ve paid attention. But you haven’t said it out loud” is quite literally my inner monologue. Webster perfectly captures the pettiness after a breakup stating “Jonny, maybe you’ll never hear this. Or maybe it’s stuck in your head. Well, I hope it makes you cry. The way that I did.” Wholehearted and sincere, Faye Webster is a lyrical genius and I hope to write a song as iconic as hers.
Caden’s Pick: “Would Anyone Care” – Citizen Soldier
I know that this is going to be a bit of a different choice when compared to some of my other choices. I decided to go with “Would Anyone Care” by Citizen Soldier. They did not make this an easy task, so this decision was not made lightly. I spent a lot of time going through their discography trying to find the correct song for this week’s pick.
I chose this Citizen Soldier song because it has an inspiring message at the end, but also because of the amount of people it has reached. As far as I know, it is currently their most popular song with nearly 19.5 million streams on Spotify. That is significant for me choosing this song because my end goal for my existence is to create works that can impact people in a positive way. I believe that Citizen Soldier embodies that way of thinking the best out of all the bands I listen to. “Would Anyone Care” has reached the most people, so I think it is a good representative of that goal as well.
I like to think about the beginning of the song being sung by the internal “shadow” that a depressed person might have. The end of the song, as seen in the lyric video, brings in the light to expel the shadow and its words.
Christina’s Pick: “chaotic” – Tate McRae
Although it was hard to choose, my pick this week is “chaotic” by Tate McRae! The song is a stripped-down emotional ballad reflecting on how exhausting growing up can be, I’ve been in awe of how honest and conversational the lyrics are since I first heard it.
This tune released in late March 2022, as the third single on her album I Used To Think I Could Fly. The piano-driven track is accompanied by soft percussion, Tate’s alluring background vocals, and light string arrangements; forefronting her lead vocals and storytelling lyrics. The message of the song is easily something everyone can relate to, with lines like “I have this paralyzing fear that I’ll maybe go nowhere, but God forbid me ever admitting I could be scared”. Tate describes feeling all the pressure there is in the music industry, and throughout life, to be perfect and have it all figured out. The chorus is definitely my favorite part, as she sings “I’m trying my best here to be brutally honest / Nobody said changing would be this exhausting / Foot on the break ‘cause it’s making me carsick / How could you blame me, growing up is chaotic”. This one is undoubtedly one that I blast to remind myself that I’m not the only one who has no idea what they’re doing sometimes.
Claire’s Pick: “Ribs” by Lorde
This week my intern pick is “Ribs” by Lorde. I wish I had written this song because I wish I could give someone the feeling this song gives me. It is vocational and honest. Lorde wrote this song when she was fifteen, which is highly impressive. Yet, the lyrics capture the gaping emotions of growing older so effortlessly. The simplistic quality of her lyrics shed light on her identity as a fifteen-year-old grappling with these daunting emotions. She still claims to sing the song for her younger self as she gets older.
“Ribs” has always been a constant throughout all of my close relationships. The lyricism is succinct and proven timeless in that nature. The bridge might be my favorite part of the track, “You’re the only friend I need (you’re the only friend I need)/ Sharing beds like little kids (sharing beds like little kids)/ And laughing ’til our ribs get tough (laughing ’til our ribs get tough) But that will never be enough (but that will never be enough).” There is life inside those lines that changed my life. She captures the joy and intimacies of childhood so perfectly. It is a nostalgic, cathartic song that I will listen to until I am old and gray. I know I can count on “Ribs” to breathe life into me as I grow older.