When this song first appeared in my inbox I felt two emotions: firstly, relief, because it does not feature tropical house in any way, shape or form. Instead, it features actual guitars – actual guitars? Almost unheard of in today’s synth-heavy, EDM-happy pop environment! To my ears – soothing like a lullaby. Actually. Not grating. The opposite of an onslaught of synthesised sound. Already, it ticks all my boxes (that is how bad things have become in recent times).
But secondly I felt – a strange sense of deja vu. Because that upbeat guitar riff, the one that kicks in around about the “chorus” (this song feels a bit too formless to reduce it to such formulaic terms I must note), was just so very … familiar…
I took myself way back to 2007 when I went through a very indie phase. Went to one of my old playlists from iTunes at the time. Vampire Weekend? Almost, not quite. Phoenix? Again, similar, but wasn’t it… But then I pressed play on this song:
And had a huge AHA moment. The guitar part is almost identical, no? Back to this in a moment.
As I have said, I was very pleased to hear actual instrumental music in this single. So, I was rather taken aback to read all these negative reviews of it. HighSnobiety (who I have never head of other than they were top of the results when I googled reviews) centre their reviews on the fact it cannot be authentic to Miley as it is not a “banger” and describe the song as “as stale and worn as the dentures of a nursing home resident.”
To which I will say – mate, you want to know about stale and worn, listen to the SHIT the likes of Chainsmokers, Kygo and even (gulp) Cashmere Cat are churning out nowadays.
On the contrary, it is well time for a revival of 2007 indie rock in the fashion of bands such as Vampire Weekend, Phoenix and Foals, and I couldn’t be happier that this is being pioneered by a big name such as Miley Cyrus herself.
SPIN centres their headline on the song’s “inoffensiveness”. They cannot get over the fact the song is inoffensive to the ears – to which I would say – maybe it has been so long since we have heard new music that is inoffensive, that we have forgotten that perhaps in 2005 we would have used the word “enjoyable to listen to” instead?
Synonyms, in my opinion. Interchangeable. I, for one, find this song soothing – and I fucking love the guitar part. I am pumped for this indie pop revival and cannot wait for Lady Gaga to rip off Lisztomania, or perhaps one of the ex-One Direction members to release their take on Neighbourhood #2 (Laika) by The Arcade Fire?
I must point out that lyrically this is basically a less eloquent re-hash of Malibu by Hole, but can’t hate on girlfriend for just being Miley, ya dig? Irrelevant to the overall point. Which is that this song GOES HARD. In a slow way.
I RATE THIS: the new banga. An anti-banga, that bangs so fucking hard. Feeling: optimistic about the future. Maybe all hope is not lost for popular music after all?