Saturday, September 15th, 2018

Tessa Violet – Crush

We’re late! Here’s a song from an evolved Youtube comedian…


Katherine St Asaph: What if you took a Carly Rae Jepsen song and removed everything that made Carly Rae Jepsen charming? What if you took a crush song (same difference) and removed everything that sounded like heightened emotion? What if you can’t even get the direction of crushing right (“I could be your crush” means they have the crush, despite an entire song otherwise)?

Alfred Soto: It sports the concentration of K-pop but the archness lacks the mitigating effect. The talk-singing is an active annoyance.

Alex Clifton: There’s something innately sugary about “Crush” in the sense that it hits all the familiar beats of having a crush: the obsessive thoughts, stumbling over words, trying to play it cool. Lyrical oddities like “you think I’m tepid but I’m misdiagnosed” sound weird, but also catch on some of the awkward phrasing you say when you’re trying to impress someone. The way she keeps her voice so level during that pre-chorus, trying so hard not to sound like she’s interested, is perfectly tense. Then the chorus hits: touch touch touch touch touch, I could be your crush crush crush crush crush, the words coming out in a rush, and I fall in love with her every single time. I love so many of the small details in the production, from the quiet “sorry!” (don’t we all feel like apologizing whenever we’re crushing because we know it’s weird?) to the sigh towards the end–the knowledge that you’re acting dumb and you just want to stop it, but you want to stay in it a little bit longer. It’s fizzy and addictive, just like having an actual crush.

Rebecca A. Gowns: Oh! It’s this song! I keep running into it accidentally, and when I do, I always stay and listen to the whole song instead of just clicking away. Something about it is just so damn catchy and cute and immediate. Strong smacks of Sleigh Bells, Lorde and Kitty Pryde; kinda obnoxious, mostly endearing. This is a song truly of its time (2018) and also of its moment (crushing hard). I’m glad that it exists.

Will Adams: “Crush” distills both Julia Michaels’ penchant for under-breath confessions over snappy pop production with Tove Styrke’s penchant for repeating words over… snappy pop production. It rides the wave, sure, and never quite reaches its influences’ heights, sure, but this is what crushes feel like sometimes: simultaneously embarrassing and exhilarating.

Ian Mathers: I, too, am a huge fan of Tove Styrke’s Sway and wish more pop music was made along those lines.

Jonathan Bradley: Tessa Violet replicates the PC Music conviction that pop music is built of contrivance and knowing artifice rather than a productive collusion between spectacle and feeling. Built with deliberate amateurism out of toybox keys and sloppy handclaps, “Crush” echoes Kitty Pryde’s early girlish slacker raps, but eschews all craft in favor of practiced vocal interjections, sound effects, and #RelatableContent references to social media. It might be too cynical to believe this was created in deliberate pursuit of the virality of “Boys,” but like Charli XCX’s, Violet’s crush is one of memes and meet-cutes. Isn’t a crush supposed to be overwhelming?

Reader average: [8.5] (2 votes)

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