By: Lily Tender
2020 has been a wild ride, and one that has seemed to go on for way too long. A lot of extremely important and essential movements have been given the public recognition they deserve. We continue to battle a global pandemic as we await the 2020 election. And despite feeling like the world has overturned, artists have not held back this year in delivering monumental music. It has been six months since this pandemic came to light in the United States. From quarantining to social distancing, I have spent a good portion of my time discovering the new music that the pandemic has birthed during the past six months.
There are so many amazing albums that deserve a spotlight, but this article will focus on two, contrasting and equally beautiful albums. Starting in late March, Conan Gray released his album “Kid Krow,” which has songs that have taken over the popular social media app TikTok over the last few months. As Gray himself describes it; this album is chaotic neutral. With its share of emotional and vulnerable songs like “Heather” and “The cut that always bleeds,” this album definitely has its songs to listen to when you are in need of a long-overdue cry. “The cut that always bleeds” is seemingly about a relationship that he was struggling to move on from. He was trying to heal but that person kept breaking his heart over and over again. With lyrics like “I don’t love you anymore, A pretty line that I adore, Five words that I’ve heard before, ‘Cause you keep me on a rope, And tied a noose around my throat, You’re gone then back at my door,” you cannot help but feel his pain through his lyrics. The simple instrumentals, which mostly just consist of an acoustic guitar, complement his voice and his message, allowing for listeners to feel a connection to this tear-jerker and passionate track. If you have been on any social media app in the past month, you’ll see that the internet has taken a certain interest in Gray’s song “Heather.” Gray describes his song, saying: “‘Heather’” is the song on the album that I always cry to. I think it’s the most honest recount of my love life at the moment. It’s about a girl named Heather—I think everyone has a Heather in their life. The person that I really, really liked was in love with Heather. They were not in love with me, and because of that, I f**king hated Heather. I hated Heather with all of my heart and soul. I had no reason to hate Heather. Heather is a perfectly nice girl. She’s sweet and she’s pure and she smells like daisies—she’s perfect, but I hate her.” Throughout this vulnerable and beautiful piece about unrequited love, his emotions are tangible and even if you are not in a position similar to the pain he is feeling, you cannot help but shed a tear and hope in the back of your mind that maybe someone looks at you and thinks you are Heather.
If you are not looking for songs to cry to or angrily sing because someone you loved hurt you, then I do suggest you look elsewhere. Luckily, Chloe x Halle have your back. Their new album “Ungodly Hour” can only really be described using one word: chills. This R&B album is layered with beautiful and catchy lyrics that showcase the insane natural talent that these sisters have. The album has such amazing energy. When listening to it, it seems impossible to sit still and not jump up with your best friends and have a dance party. Their song “Do it” has an upbeat quality while still sustaining its R&B influences. It gives a cheerful message to listeners about having fun and enjoying life with your best friends by your side. Their title track song “Ungodly Hour” discusses sexuality and love. In an interview, they beautifully articulate the meaning behind the track saying: “we came up with the phrase ‘Love me at the ungodly hour.’ Love me at my worst. Love me when I’m not the best version of myself. And the song kind of wrote itself really fast. It’s about being in a situationship with someone who isn’t ready to fully commit or settle down with you, but the connection is there, the chemistry is there, it’s so electric. But being the woman, you know your self-worth and you know what you won’t accept.” The album is filled with so many amazing, empowering, electric and beautiful songs that I highly recommend to anyone who needs a pick-me-up or a song to dance around their room when it is late at night.
These albums both provide the perfect songs for two completely different mental states, and yet both albums still beautifully and emotionally express the highs and lows of young love, growing up and self-acceptance. If you are looking for your fall 2020 anthems, I highly suggest checking out these two albums.