Wednesday, June 27th, 2018

Sigrid – High Five

More like a high [6]…


Julian Axelrod: At its core, pop is just ecstasy or agony writ large, and few do maximalist misery better than Sigrid. While “Strangers” was a desperate grasp for connection in the face of isolation, “High Five” is a bleary dance atop the wreckage left in the wake of fake friends. They’re two sides of the same coin, deeply felt declarations of loneliness in an era where you’re never truly alone. But like its predecessor, “High Five” hitches its ennui to a humongous hook that sounds like a confetti cannon shot into the sun. It’s a joyous ode to the liberating act of screaming into the void — think “It’s My Party” for the millennial age.

Alfred Soto: Predictable developments and a voice that sounds unconvincingly self-regarding do not solid dance pop make.

Ian Mathers: I slightly underrated her “Strangers” at the time, but between that and “High Five” it’s clear that Sigrid is good enough at weaving humane yet unflinching rebukes into total bangers that she will hopefully one day write her generation’s “You’re So Vain” (with more synthesizers). Also, the “ooh, everybody loves a show” bit makes me think of this as the equally dark inverse of Lorde’s “Liability” (Tove Styrke’s version too), especially since Sigrid has described “High Five” as self-critical as much as anything else.

Scott Mildenhall: It follows that Sigrid says this is somewhat self-directed, a warning to oneself of roads to not go down, because that accounts for its tough love approach. It’s obscured, but there is sympathy: sick of angst-screen sycophancy, she sees the fragility it belies, quietening down temporarily to attend to it, before reaffirming belief that the plaster is best ripped off. Those in the business of doing so could easily take it as a Searing Critique Of Celebrity, but its applicability seems so much wider than that. The person being addressed doesn’t sound all that powerful when the room goes quiet, and all that comes to mind is that they probably get their high fives not from apparent achievement, but through knocking others down. Perhaps for everyone touched or even bound up in the invasive and all-pervasive kind of bland judgmentalness that seems borne of a fear of being judged, this is a cue to relax.

Will Adams: An admittedly familiar concept — anti-bullying message that drifts dangerously close to piety — elevated to glorious heights by a bracing chorus and a bridge that unexpectedly divulges a Regina Spektor influence.

Katherine St Asaph: The most expensive atrium-fountain drops and inventive machine whirrs money can buy, but the defanged lyric, weirdly young for a 21-year-old, and epic-shaped but empty song that the production encloses renders it all unimpressive. The piano breakdown could be interesting if it A) weren’t another “see, she can do real music” acoustic redux most pop artists employ, just this time plopped into the actual song, and B) didn’t remind me of why those Lorde-Kate Bush comparisons never quite worked for me. Bush’s strengths don’t lie in being arch and precocious — few female singer-songwriters’ do — and if you’re making pop-pop music, arch and precocious will kill.

Joshua Minsoo Kim: Several amusing and quirky ideas that are rendered meaningless by a standard stadium-ready chorus.

Stephen Eisermann: When pop artists are willing to get experimental with production, singing styles, atmosphere, and song structure, it always makes for a more enjoyable listen — even if the song doesn’t always stick its landing. The piano breakdown during the bridge came out of left field, but it made an already interesting song about the yes-men in your life even better. To me, it was a metaphor for those times when you want to be honest with yourself and go against the grain and against what will get you the most attention. It’s probably way simpler than that, but that’s the fun of weird songs — you can read way too much into them while you listen to them on repeat for hours before finally giving up and enjoying the song for what it is: good pop music.

Juan F. Carruyo: This song is the aural equivalent of dropping Mentos in Coke: appropriately epic.

Katie Gill: The way this song builds is downright beautiful — I didn’t expect it to just LAUNCH right into that chorus of sound, but man, am I glad that Sigrid chose to do it this way. This clocks in at less than three minutes, but it’s so tightly edited and pieced together that it makes the most out of each beat. It’s a damn good and damn fun pop song for a time when we reeeally need a few more damn fun pop songs.

Reader average: [9.5] (2 votes)

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4 Responses to “Sigrid – High Five”

  1. I missed blurbing this by like a second but I looooooooooovvvvve it so much and sigrid is such a star, julian’s blurb articulates it for me

  2. Surprised no one touched on the fact that this is pretty much the same song as Don’t Kill My Vibe

  3. Interesting that so many people describe this as an anti-bullying song, I don’t hear that aspect at all. It reads to me as a warning against fake friends — Scott’s blurb encapsulates my interpretation better than mine does lol

  4. to be fair I did put it in my email