“I’ll sleep on it… Be grand.”
This phrase is uttered by many of us in the course of our everyday lives. That idea that regardless of how difficult or stressful a situation might be we’ll be able to look at it through a fresh lens and it won’t seem so difficult. Or we’ll be able to shake ourselves out of the feeling of helplessness or unhappiness that we find ourselves in at that given moment. It’s a lovely sentiment, but very often the problems have set in to such an extent that sleep will merely be a brief reprieve rather than the actual cure. One of the best songs I have ever heard for exploring this sensation is the 2020 single from English singer-songwriter, KAHLLA.
From the very first listen, this song stayed with me and conjured up thoughts and feelings that I found extremely relatable and close to home. Throughout the song, we are greeted with a protagonist who is confused by the sense of unhappiness or distraction that she feels even though she thinks that she should have everything that she could have wanted. While the story at the core of the song seems to be dealing with a relationship that is not fulfilling what our protagonist should be it’s purpose, it is very easy for the listener to project a feeling of unexplained unhappiness onto the song as well.
The imagery on this song is incredibly powerful, with KAHLLA‘s ability for stark and vivid lyrics and appropriate instrumentation shining through from the beginning.
The song opens and we are shown our protagonist in a car with presumably the person she’s in a relationship with, and while she references the fact that everything in that moment seems perfect, for some reason it’s not. The imagery here is particularly powerful as we are are shown the conflicting inner thoughts of our protagonist, and the struggles they are having understanding why the external view of her life isn’t matching how she’s feeling.
“And we glide through a cold night,
And I cry on the passenger side,
I got everything I wanted,
So why can’t I just enjoy it…”
This is something that will be very relatable to many people who listen. That sense of dread and confusing unhappiness when everything seems alright is one of the most difficult sensations to explain when it hits, both to yourself and to the people around you.
My favourite line from the song comes in the chorus, and was something that I was able to relate to particularly strongly. During this part of the song, KAHLLA tells the listener about the coping mechanisms that she has for situations like this and the distractions that she uses. It was something that I was able to project my own experiences onto very easily as I have often used a YouTube video or a podcast in the background to distract from the thoughts in my head. A sense that extra noise might drown out the noise in your head is a common belief and yet not always as effective as we would hope.
“Put a video on just to hear somebody talking
Over the white noise in my head
Black out the darker days instead”
The instrumentation in the song is suitably subdued for the subject matter being covered. It helps to put the lyrics to the forefront while also helping to set the mood. A simple piano is supported by relaxed drumming and a calming bassline, and all of this comes together for a truly engaging listening experience.
I’ll feel better in the morning… If only that was always the case.