Friday, 21 August 2015

On Song: Alessia Cara 'Here'

"Since my friends are here, I just came to kick it/ But really I would rather be at home all by myself/ Not in this room with people who don't even care about my well being/I don't dance, don't ask, I don't need a boyfriend/ So you can, go back, please enjoy your party/ I'll be here"

Being a 20-something millenial is hard. Bombarded by celebrity culture, FOMO and social media pressure, it's a constant battle to live a live that makes you happy without feeling like you're somehow doing it wrong. Like you're somehow not giving enough. Couple this with the pressure to instagram our every walking minute, climb the ladder of a stellar career while maintaing an exciting social life but of course be mindful of our ticking fertility clocks, and it's no wonder that instances of major depression and anxiety appears to be so rife amongst our generation. We simply cannot have it all.


We're expected to have stable partners to share our pinterest-worthy homes, and yet we're also frowned upon for not going out and 'enjoying our young years'. We're told to open savings accounts and get proper jobs, and yet travel and spontaneity is imperative. 'Nobody ever remembers the nights they got plenty of sleep' they say, or so goes the tumblr witticism. By why are the youth of today so widely criticised for having the sort of fun that doesn't require the cover of darkness?

It's a conflict so perfectly explored by 'Here', the debut single by Toronto's Alessia Cara. Sprawling over a classic Portishead sample, her wordly-wise approach to making music strongly echoes that of how it felt to discover Lorde and 'Royals', written at just 15 but with the celebrity culture completely tapped. At 19 years of age, Cara defy the stereotypical norms of what it means to be young, and the fact that there's a lot more to life than bad house parties. 

For everyone who enjoys a good drink but draw the line at drugs, for all those whose social anxiety forces them to be aware of their own limits at all times, for those who know to leave when the lights come on...heck, even for those who prefer bars and conversation to clubs and grinding sessions - 'Here' is a badge of validity. It's not a song that preaches or tells others that what they're doing is wrong; Cara has no problem with people living their lives, she simply asks for there to be enough room for people to be themselves: 

'And I know you mean only the best and your intentions aren't to bother me/ but honestly I'd rather be somewhere with my people/ we can kick it and just listen to some music with a message...So pardon my manners, I hope you'll understand that I'll be here'



'Here' is a song I wished I'd had in my University years - smart, incisive and a whole lot cooler than half the shit being played at these so-called 'hip' parties that 'went off' last night. It's the antidote to EDM, the cure for crunk, and it's gloriously badass for it. Nobody may remember the nights they got plenty of sleep, but nobody wants to remember every hangover either.


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