Singles Roundup: Week of March 8
girl in red – “Serotonin”
In anticipation for the release of her debut album “if i could make it all go quiet,” Marie Ulven, better known as girl in red, has released three out of 11 tracks for the album. The most recent, “Serotonin,” offers a peek at what Ulven is capable of in her future works.
Known for her indie bedroom pop sound, Ulven takes a different route with “Serotonin,” produced by FINNEAS. Her normal airy voice in the introductory chorus is met with a more intense guitar presence than what is expected.
The following choruses contain a drum set crescendo to prepare for a beat drop at the start of the verses. Following the drop, a more aggressive beat is brought in with a strong bass and fragmented lyrics.
Despite the different instrumental approach, “Serotonin” follows along lyrically with Ulven’s usual topics, discussing the feeling of spiraling and having intrusive thoughts. The frustration in the lyrics is evenly matched with and highlighted by the powerful instrumentals behind it.
With the combination of aggressive lyrics and a catchy beat, “Serotonin” has great promise to become a song many will want to scream at the top of their lungs and hopefully foreshadows a great album to come. —Megan Kelby
awfultune – “SICK OF U”
Bedroom pop singer awfultune, also known as Layla Eden, released a relatable single titled “SICK OF U” on Friday. It is the second composition in her developing six-part color story and features a vibrant orange cover.
The first track of the project is “lovesick,” representing red. Each track will feature different colored cover art to capture the mood of the piece.
Eden explores post-breakup feelings in “SICK OF U” with the introduction reciting “I was once addicted/Now you’re just a bad taste in my mouth.” The singer describes trying to see her relationship through but fails because her partner was “tirelessly selfish and insecure.”
The single has a relatively slow tempo, but the chorus quickly develops. Eden repeats, “I’m sick of you/How can I get this through?” Calm drumming bops along in the background of the song, contrasting the unsettled words of the singer.
This piece highlights awfultune’s intimate writing style. Eden has the extraordinary ability to make her listeners feel like they are confidantes rather than fans. —Maggie Wilson
Dean Lewis – “Falling Up”
This Australian songwriter is not new to the music industry. Dean Lewis is best known for his 2016 single “Waves,” which was certified seven times Platinum in Australia in 2020. In 2019, he released his first studio album titled “A Place We Knew.” This album eventually reached the No. 1 spot on Australia’s best album chart.
His latest single “Falling Up” is a great reflection of his progress as an artist. This is a great “in-the-feels” pop song — a type of track that Gen Z is fascinated with now.
“Falling Up” is a song about moving on from a person, but Lewis says it’s about “being online and focusing on that one negative comment in a sea of good.” It serves as a little reminder to all listeners that no matter how bad it may seem, there is always good beyond the horizon.
With every beat and strum, this song gets better and better. No doubt, this song has the potential to be popular in Australia and, eventually, worldwide. —Cade Miller
Baby Keem – “No Sense”
“No Sense” is the first single released for Baby Keem’s upcoming sophomore album “THE MELODIC BLUE.”
Keem’s signature voice and stuttery flow rides over an airy, atmospheric instrumental. His singsong, slightly mumbled rapping combines melody and lyricism to keep the track interesting for the full runtime. The song has heavy reverb on the percussion, emotional chords, and a whispering pad, coalescing into an emotional, sad instrumental.
In the refrain, Keem asks “Are you mad at me? Are you irritated?” to push the emotional theme of the song. In this track, he’s having problems with his significant other regarding the disrespect they show him and other problems in his life.
Baby Keem has proven to be a talented artist in every capacity. Whether he’s singing, rapping, directing his music videos or designing album covers, his work has been coherent and consistently of extreme quality. —Jimmy Gonzales
A Day to Remember – “Mind Reader”
Florida-based rock band A Day to Remember is known for its pop punk music, and newest single “Mind Reader” exemplifies just that.
Starting off with an acoustic/electrical vibe, the guitar strings emerge and build onto the song before lead singer Jeremy McKinnon comes in through the guitar. McKinnon is deeply connected to this song and shows up with full force. His confident voice creates a fiery and distinctive tune.
“Mind Reader” is not too long of a song, but it comes packed with a very strong beat and the singer’s massive voice riding over the bass in the background. Though perhaps this song is not the most appealing for the human ear, becoming obnoxious at times.
For people not interested in this type of music, there’s no need to feel bad. The lyrics repeat “I'll never be your mindreader” and take place through a passionate tone as if McKinnon is trying to communicate with someone out of anger due to a previous issue.
An interesting tune, “Mind Reader” brings those pop rock vibes to either help you completely enjoy the song or not be fond of it in the slightest. Your choice. —Olivia Manfredo
Megan Kelby is a freshman majoring in communications. To contact her, email email@example.com.
Maggie Wilson is a sophomore majoring in public relations. To contact her, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cade Miller is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.
Jimmy Gonzales is a sophomore majoring in advertising. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Olivia Manfredo is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email email@example.com.
About the Contributors
Junior / Broadcast Journalism
Sophomore / Advertising
Fourth-Year / Journalism
Olivia Manfredo is currently a second year student at Penn State’s Donald P. Bellisario College of
Communications with a major in Broadcast Journalism and minor in Sports Studies.
Olivia is gaining exceptional knowledge in the field of communications, sports media and the broadcasting fields in and out of the classroom. She had been part of the Broadcast Experience course from Fall 2018- Spring 2020, where it was her job to report the daily news and announcements as well as provide sports scores and updates at Passaic Valley Regional High School. Olivia also served as a journalist for her high school news paper, “The Valley Echo” which she thoroughly enjoyed.
Presently, Olivia is involved in multiple clubs at Penn State. She is a producer for CommRadio, All Women In Sports Media and a THON OPPerations Committee member as well as the Family Relations Liaison.
She was also selected to be a part of the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism certificate and is currently working with Penn State Athletics Marketing and Promotions as a Game Day intern.
Sophomore / Public Relations