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The Falcon

Seattle Pacific University's Student Newspaper

The Falcon

Seattle Pacific University's Student Newspaper

The Falcon

Beat of my emotions

Artists that allow me to express my feelings through their music
Reneé Rapp and Alexander 23 performing “I Wish,” at the Paramount Theater on Oct. 7, 2023, in Seattle. (Isabella Tranello)

While recently streaming my KSPU show, “Everything Under the Sun,” my best friend, Zoie, texted me and said, “These are awesome songs, but why are all of them so sad?” This question made me stop to think deeply about my chosen songs, and I soon realized that my favorite songs are heartbreaking. 

I stop listening if I do not feel emotionally connected to a song or the singer. The artists below are just a few examples of those who have dominated my subconscious for the last four years.

1. Reneé Rapp 

How can I even begin to describe Reneé Rapp and her music? One word: devastating.

If there is one artist that I can say leaves me in shambles, it is Reneé. I have never listened to an artist as emotionally vulnerable as her. I don’t even know if I can say what the music means to me, but I’ll try. 

Sometimes, she hides the true meanings of her songs behind catchy tunes and quick tempos, but when you look deeper at her lyrics, your heart combusts — at least I know mine does. One song that kills me is  “Don’t Tell My Mom”  from her Extended Play (EP), “Everything to Everyone.”  

This song perfectly describes how I bottle up my emotions. I tend to hide them from those who care about me because I am scared of putting unnecessary burdens on them. When I heard this song for the first time, I sent it to my mother. I was unable to describe on my own why I hated telling her my problems, especially when she had so many of her own issues. This song has done much more than touch my heart, it has given me a much-needed avenue of communication with my mother. 

2. CIL 

I first discovered Cecelia, more commonly known by her stage name, CIL, when I saw her perform as the opener for Stevie Nicks at Climate Pledge Arena. From the moment I heard her sing, I was enchanted. She has such a sultry voice, which is perfect for powerful, angsty belting but also slow, heart-wrenching ballads. 

One of my favorite songs is “Girl I Used To Be,” which highlights her movement away from an old version of herself — one that is burdened by insecurities about her body image and struggles to keep men interested in more than just her looks. 

Discovering this song could not have happened at a better time in my life. I was going through a breakup and felt worthless, and like no one could love me again. However, this song made me realize that I wasn’t unlovable just because of a failed relationship. It made me realize that it was time to find self-worth. I had to say goodbye to the “Girl I Used To Be,” and say hello to the self-loving girl I wanted to be. 

3. Sabrina Carpenter 

If you have only ever heard “Nonsense” or  “Feather,” I beg of you, please listen to more of Sabrina Carpenter’s discography. I promise you won’t regret it.

If you do not believe how beguiling she is as an artist, watch her performances of her hit song, “Feather,” at  “The Eras Tour” or at the 2024 “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve – you can thank me later. 

Sabrina’s most popular songs have upbeat tunes and are not lyrically deep. However, the tracks that I believe are her best are the ones that draw inspiration from her real-world experiences.  I resonate more with her more heartbreaking tunes, such as “Opposite.” 

This track was not initially featured on Carpenter’s official debut album, “emails i can’t send,” but was instead released eight months later in the extended version of the album, “emails i can’t send fwd:” 

This song expresses how these feelings of unworthiness can affect your psyche. It is the most demoralizing feeling not to be enough, or even the total “opposite” of what someone wants.

Carpenter’s original album is beautiful and always makes me cry, but hearing this song felt like she was looking at the world through my eyes. She describes how devastating it is to see a person you love move on to someone else so quickly, which I have personally experienced many times. 

These events majorly affected the way I view relationships. I am constantly questioning the legitimacy of people’s feelings, which I know is an incredibly unhealthy practice, but it’s something I can’t seem to help. Despite my struggles with trust, Sabrina’s song helps me accept that I am not the only one going through similar relationship issues. 

4. Joshua Bassett 

Now, I couldn’t in good faith leave out Joshua Bassett.

When it comes to emotionally driven music, he has figured out the formula. His ability to tell a story through his music shows how fitting it is that he would end this list. I could go on forever about Joshua, but I will mention just one song: “Set Me Free,” a song I consider to be my anthem.  

Joshua tells the story of how he wants to be freed from the person who took everything from him after the breakup, including his sanity, health and happiness. It is about reclaiming life.

For me, it means breaking away from the trauma that my mother’s drug addiction caused me. The feelings of blame, of neglect, of loneliness — I was trying to escape them all but to no avail. That was until I found “Set Me Free.” 

It literally set me free from the blame I felt for my mother’s situation and allowed me to understand that the people who hurt me, “don’t get to take all of me.” I own my life, they don’t. 

These four artists are by no means the only ones who give me a platform to feel my emotions in the deepest ways possible. However, they are the ones I believe everyone should give a fair trial.

If you find music to be an outlet for your feelings as I do, these artists could catch your favor and help you express things you might not know how to with your own words. 

To hear some of these songs and the other artists I could have included, click here for a playlist. 

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About the Contributor
Isabella Tranello
Isabella Tranello, Copy Editor
Isabella is fourth-year journalism and communications student at Seattle Pacific University, and has been on The Falcon for all four years. Her favorite articles to write focus on pop culture, movies and music. Outside of the Falcon, Isabella works at an early childhood center and teaches children 6 months to 5 years. Her favorite hobbies are collecting vinyls and romantic young-adult books. In the future, Isabella hopes to find a career in media relations.  
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