Thank u, next, Ariana Grande’s empowering pop banger that we never knew we needed until it took the world by storm. Self-love is a rarely addressed yet a much needed message in pop-music, and something we all connect with. The track is so refreshingly positive despite her recent hardships. In a similar vein, here are four other excellent anthems brimming with uplifting self-empowerment that we all deserve to feel.
Miss You-Gabrielle Aplin
Released in 2015, singer-songwriter sweetheart Gabrielle Aplin made a sonic evolution that paid off. The electro-pop “Miss You” appears to be about missing an ex or past friendship, but it is actually a heartwarming swan-song to re-discovering oneself. Aplin injects relief and excitement into verses “Oh God, I miss you too. It’s all I ever do. I’m coming back to you and I won’t let go” laden with sparkling synths and fantastical instrumentals. Aplin excellently iterates self-discovery in this euphoria emblazoned banger, reminding us to remain grounded and celebrate our successes.
Lorde’s critically acclaimed sophomore Melodrama engrossingly documents an intensely personal, yet also widely applicable, narrative of the highs and the lows of life. “Liability” rips the listeners’ heart into a billion pieces, with an underlying narrative of self-love even when it feels as if you’re too much for everybody else. Whilst Liability (Reprise), flips the tragedy veering towards reflection and acceptance. The echoed production and isolation of its’ impactful verses embody a moving self-realisation. Whilst Lorde may have felt like she is too much for others, she finds she is not the liability that she thought she was. It’s a cut from the record that is often overlooked, but an important chapter in the grandeur of “Melodrama”.
Scars To Your Beautiful-Alessia Cara
In the filtered world of Instagram and Social Media, it’s easy to get caught up in our flaws and think we aren’t good enough. Alessia Cara harks to her listeners there is beauty in all of us. The ballad is belted with her powerhouse vocals, backed by thundering bass-drums that spark inspiration. “No better you than the you that you are” reminds us to be true to ourselves. “We’re stars and we’re beautiful” is a compassionate message that all of us should embrace, instead of getting caught up in what we perceive as flaws. This kindness is not only relevant to our self-perception, but to how we look upon others. Everyone goes through hardships, nobody is perfect, but that’s ok. It’s what makes us human.
I Know A Place-MUNA
This track is dedicated to anyone that feels marginalised or different. MUNA emit an effervescent passion, forming a musical bubble of safety and happiness. The rippling 80’s synth-lines and vibrant guitars create an irresistible disco-anthem that engrosses listeners. It’s about trusting yourself and finding solace in the company of those that care about you. They speak of an idealistic paradise where everyone lays down their defences and dances in sheer joy. Whilst it is difficult for many to find this when going through hardship, the song itself acts as a musical utopia. It encourages listeners to be proud of who they are, no matter where they come from or what they have gone through.
Words: Kieran Raza