Review Roundup

Review Roundup – Vardaan Arora, Anne-Marie, Ava Max, & Roberta Faceplant

Vardaan Arora – “It’s Ok If You Forget Me”

Heartbreak is a wrecking ball. Sometimes, as the wreckage piles up at your feet, you realize you don’t feel the sting. Are you supposed to? Vardaan Arora proposes this question with this dazzling new track “It’s Ok If You Forget Me,” on which he spirals through “wishing it did” hurt, even just a little. “Everyone says that I should be sad,” he sings. “Is it normal that / I don’t feel sorry for myself / Care if your hands touch somebody else…” Maybe his heart has safeguarded against this very moment, or maybe the weight of the event has yet to fully hit. Either way, we’re at least blessed with another banger.

Listen to “It’s Ok If You Forget Me” below.

Ava Max – “Ghost”

Ava Max never misses. She’s delivered banger after banger, so it’s no surprise that her new album, Diamonds & Dancefloors, is packed with them. An electric slide of a song, “Ghost” shines like a mirrorball, twirling in the neon light and casting shimmers around the room. “You stay on my mind / Can’t help but keep you close / Everywhere I go, I’m haunted by your ghost,” she sings. The intensity of the production laces up the melody with a fevered shock. Her heartbreak might be coursing in her veins, yet that doesn’t mean she can’t hit up the dancefloor.

Listen to “Ghost” below.

Anne-Marie – “SAD B!TCH”

Sadness is so last year, Anne-Marie spits. The last few years have been filled with sadness, so perhaps it’s time to reclaim happiness. With “SAD B!TCH,” Anne-Marie doesn’t hold back. “I wish that you could feel this too / But I know you’re stuck with tunnel vision / Makes me feel bad for you,” she sings. Her swagger is infectious, and it helps that the chorus hits so dang hard. “Everyone’s so down ’round here, I’m tired of it,” she bemoans. “I just wanna be with my friends, f***ed up, gettin’ rich.” Snaps glisten in the production, thumping against the eardrums. It might still be winter, but you’re about to heat up.

Listen to “SAD B!TCH” below.

Roberta Faceplant – “Sunbeams”

Grief strikes like a lightning bolt. It’s never a linear experience, often swerving off-kilter. With a new song titled “Sunbeams,” written about her late cousin Sean, Katie Feeney (front-woman of Roberta Faceplant) carves out a wonderfully hair-raising performance about life, death, and grief. “I know that he will suffer no longer / That will always be on our minds,” sings Feeney. In the chorus, she wonders, “Where do we go when we die?” And to that, we’ll never know the answer. We’re left with gnawing feelings of uncertainty and confusion. But the alt-country project seeks to soothe the senses and let grief wash over the listener. 

Listen to “Sunbeams” below.

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