Singles Roundup: Week of Feb. 8
FINNEAS - “American Cliché”
After nearly three years of live performances, Instagram Live snippets and Twitter promises, singer/songwriter FINNEAS has released his newest single “American Cliché.”
Taking a more organic approach to his production, FINNEAS's choice of instrumentation differs from the usual Billie Eilish track. Instead of eerie synthesizers and somber piano, he opts in for a humbling brass section and live drum tracks. The song truly shows his diversity as an artist and allows FINNEAS to express himself like never before.
FINNEAS’s vocals also display a large range, especially toward the end of the track where he strains his voice and hits beautiful and passionate notes. Lyrically, he sings about love and almost makes fun of himself for being so stereotypical, hence the lyrics “I'm an American cliché.”
Overall, this track was a pleasant surprise for how unique and catchy it sounded. “American Cliché” should have both Billie Eilish and FINNEAS fans excited for whatever he has coming next, and hopefully that may be a debut LP. — Caelan Chevrier
Daya — “Bad Girl”
Grammy Award winner Daya released her new single “Bad Girl” on Thursday — one of her most freely written songs produced by Andrew Goldstein and Charlie Puth.
Most widely known for her upbeat pop songs, Daya continues creating unique and catchy music. For the record, this song goes hand in hand with her popular hit “Sit Still Look Pretty,” which garnered a lot of popularity.
“Bad Girl” is a calm, cool, collected song with a lively melody and lyrics that makes people want to sing along.
“Bad Girl” finds Daya discussing and emphasizing who she is as a strong and fearless woman, and has willingness to be open about her femininity and sexuality as a bisexual woman. Daya is self assured in who she is and combines this song with just that along with the desires that have shaped her and what it means to be a “Bad Girl.”
Daya feels freedom in knowing she can express herself through her lyrics and is confident enough to talk about being an empowered female without having a male companion.
This song was thoroughly enjoyable, starting off at a slower tempo and then breaking into Daya’s singing and pouring her heart into it, which is evident. The repetition of words calls for a catchy tune and, overall, an awesome creation on Daya’s part. The message and lyrics go hand in hand — truly brave and vulnerable of Daya wholeheartedly. — Olivia Manfredo
“Pressure” by Martin Garrix and Tove Lo
“Pressure” is the first single from both Martin Garrix and Tove Lo in 2021 and marks the first collaboration between the two artists. Throughout the years, Martin Garrix has collaborated with many pop stars such as Dua Lipa, Bebe Rexha and Khalid.
This is a super catchy song, however Tove Lo outshines Garrix. The beat is pretty stagnant throughout the song. Garrix is known for his amazing beats and loud, vibrant instrumentals, but the beat in this song is void of energy and is nothing special.
Tove Lo sounds amazing throughout the song. Although she doesn’t showcase a wide range of vocals, she sounds great in her lower register. Her voice brings liveliness to the song and her soft vocals flow throughout the song beautifully.
The chorus is very catchy; however, it’s not as hard hitting as it should be. There is not much change from the verses into the chorus, which is a missed opportunity. The chorus should be larger than it is, but the song falls flat because of it.
Overall, “Pressure” is a pretty underwhelming song. Garrix and Tove Lo have both had better, more exciting songs. Although the chill vibes of this song are great, the song needs to be more vibrant and energetic. — Jack Freiser
Cardi B — “UP”
Rapper Cardi B leaps into the new year with her latest single “UP.” Since the release of her last No. 1 single “WAP” featuring Megan Thee Stallion, fans have long anticipated a confidence boosting release to enjoy amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a world post COVID, the song's catchy rhythm and chorus have the potential to be a sure party starter. However its lyrics and flow are underwhelming.
Cardi raps “big bag bussin' out the Bentley Bentayga” in the chorus and her delivery is simply difficult to understand. Perhaps it was required for the song to be released short notice — nonetheless it all seems rushed and unfinished. Luckily, the fun club ready beat makes up for its shortcomings.
The song itself, however, is bound to ignite a plethora of viral TikTok challenges and has received heavy radio play since its release. While the song may find success on the charts it will likely be because of Cardi B’s fame and notoriety over the song’s actual creativity and substance. — Aziaun Scott
“Glad You Exist” — Dan + Shay
With Valentine's Day just around the corner, country-pop songwriters Dan + Shay celebrate the power of love and appreciation in their new single "Glad You Exist."
Like most of Dan + Shay's music, "Glad You Exist" radiates an upbeat, heartfelt and uplifting energy. It blends soft percussion, consistent rhythm and acoustic guitar to create a swooning and catchy melody.
The song's lyrics rely on three themes: counting your blessings, not taking moments for granted and reminding loved ones of their value.
"There's a couple billion people in the world / And a million other places we could be, but you're here with me / Take a moment just to take it in / 'Cause еvery high and every low lеd to this / I'm just so glad you exist,” the duo sing.
In a social media post before the single's release, Dan + Shay highlighted what the song means to them and the importance of companionship — especially during the pandemic. They said the song is a “message of gratitude and hope” meant to bring people together.
By the end of "Glad You Exist," it's most likely audiences will have a beaming smile across their face and will, hopefully, savor their most valuable relationships and memories. Perhaps the song will even urge you to tell someone, or many people, how much you love and appreciate them. — Emmy Vitali
Caelan Chevrier is a freshman majoring in journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Olivia Manfredo is a freshman majoring in Broadcast Journalism. To contact her, email email@example.com.
Jack Freiser is a freshman majoring in either media studies or telecommunications. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Aziaun Scott is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email email@example.com.
Emmy Vitali is a freshman majoring in telecommunications. To contact her, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Contributors
Second Year / Journalism
Freshman / Telecommunications
Sophomore / Telecommunications
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.