¿?sick beats?¿ Special Edition 1: Listening Between The Lines

Designed by: Poh En Xi (20-E3)

Have you ever listened to a song (perhaps from a Sick Beats recommendation), and thought, wow, those lyrics are amazing – they complement the music so perfectly? So have we. Hence, we present Sick Beats’ very first edition of Listening Between The Lines: our way of diving deeper into the meanings of, well, meaningful song lyrics, giving our personal takes on their significance and, overall, showing an appreciation for these. 

This first set of songs truly demonstrates the truth of “music has no barriers”, linguistic or otherwise – we cover songs both foreign and familiar below.

На кухне (In The Kitchen) – Elvira T

(Translated from Russian)

You smoked right in the kitchen

And I always breathed smoke

Today, tomorrow it’s gonna be over

The finale has been provoked             

We have nothing left to share                                                      

And we have nothing to say to each other

I’m scared of what’s inside me

I’m scared to understand you even more 

Even though I know you for a long time

It feels like I don’t know you at all                                               

Do you know what our love looked like?

It was drunk and extremely short

You know, we did everything right

Come in only if you have a guitar    

Ask me, “Why are the nights white?”                                             

“I’m burning bridges”, I will reply

Come over, only you 

Let’s sit forever in the kitchen

On holidays, on weekdays

No matter when                                                                           

Just come to me whenever I’m asking you

Tell me, only you 

How is it really going

Next week I want to see you once more

Just one thing,                                                                             

Don’t ever say a word about love

Ask me, “How is the weather?”

I will answer, “No rainfall”

I’m sorry I’ve been dreaming for half a year already

The same dreams, which are not sweet at all                               

Sorry if I hurt you

Sorry, but that’s the way it is today

I speak and it seems I’m calm

But there’s some kind of sediment on my soul

Close the window, outside is a buzz                                             

And I can hardly hear you

We were lost among the empty rooms,

Cities, streets. They’re looking for us everywhere

There’s a mess in my flat and my head,

There’s a lust in my head and my flat.                                        

Better let it stay like this                                                              

Eighth floor, waiting, open door

In this song, songwriter Elvira Tugusheva aims to convey the experience of being in a relationship where the end seems imminent. In stanza 1, line 4, the songwriter claims that “today, tomorrow it’s gonna be over”. The words “today, tomorrow” imply that the relationship, denoted by the pronoun “it”, is “gonna be over” soon. While it is approaching for sure, she is not sure when it will occur. 

In lines 5-6, Elvira sings, “[We] have nothing left to share/And [we] have nothing to say to each other”. The usage of the phrase “nothing left”, which is very definite, to describe their lost ability to communicate. Elvira also describes their “love” as “drunk and extremely short” in line 12, highlighting the fact that their love faded very quickly, just like a drunken stupor would. Elvira’s relationship is no longer as intimate as it once was, thus alluding towards its eventual demise in the near future.

Ultimately, the songwriter seems to imply that she wants to continue the relationship, despite its flaws and uncertainties. This can be seen when she utilizes diction such as “forever”, “no matter”, “whenever” and “once more” to describe her everlasting desire to meet the other party. She does not care about the circumstances in which they meet, only that they do. In lines 27-28, presumably Elvira’s significant other inquires, “how’s the weather”. This question, often characteristic of small talk, is not normally expected of two people with an intimate relationship with each other. This highlights the less-than-ideal state of their relationship.

However, Elvira’s answer “no rainfall” is rather hopeful, as rain is often a symbol for negative feelings or thoughts. Yet, she chose not to give a definitively positive answer to the question, implying that she is not sure of their relationship. Hence, she is hopeful about the state of their relationship, despite its uncertainties. Elvira also claims that it is “[better to let it stay like this”. The usage of the comparative adjective “better” hints at her choice to keep the relationship as it is. This point is further reiterated by her eager invitation of the other party to her house once again: “Eighth floor, waiting, open door”. 

Cut to the Feeling – Carly Rae Jepsen

I had a dream, or was it real?

We crossed the line and it was on

We crossed the line, it was on this time

I’ve been denying how I feel, you’ve been denying what you want

You want from me, talk to me baby

I want some satisfaction, take me to the stars, just say “oh”

Ah, I wanna cut through the clouds, break the ceiling

I wanna dance on the roof, you and me alone

I wanna cut to the feeling, oh yeah

I wanna cut to the feeling, oh yeah

I wanna play where you play with the angels

I wanna wake up with you all in tangles, oh

I wanna cut to the feeling, oh yeah

I wanna cut to the feeling, oh yeah

Cancel your reservations, no more hesitations this is on

I can’t make it stop, give me all you got

I want it all or nothing, no more in between, now give your

Everything to me, let’s get real baby

A chemical reaction, take me in your arms and make me “oh”

Ah, I wanna cut through the clouds, break the ceiling

I wanna dance on the roof, you and me alone

I wanna cut to the feeling, oh yeah

I wanna cut to the feeling, oh yeah

I wanna play where you play with the angels

I wanna wake up with you all in tangles, oh

I wanna cut to the feeling, oh yeah

I wanna cut to the feeling, oh yeah

Take me to emotion, I want to go all the way

Show me devotion and take me all the way

Take me to emotion, I want to go all the way

Show me devotion and take me all the way (all the way, all the way, all the way)

Take me, take me, take me all the way

I wanna cut through the clouds, break the ceiling

I wanna dance on the roof, you and me alone

I wanna cut to the feeling, oh yeah

I wanna cut to the feeling, oh yeah

I wanna play where you play with the angels

I wanna wake up with you all in tangles, oh

I wanna cut to the feeling, oh yeah

I wanna cut to the feeling, oh yeah

I wanna cut through the clouds (mmm, cut to the feeling)

I wanna dance on the roof (oh, yeah)

I wanna cut to the feeling (I wanna cut to the feeling)

I wanna cut to the feeling (I wanna cut to the feeling)

The vocalist pours new life into the 80s synth pop beat. Throughout the song, her coaxing voice gradually draws you nearer, lifting your emotions higher, gifting you a sense of euphoria. At its peak, your brain releases that sweet, sweet dopamine as you hit that emotional high that comes with the song’s flow. Presenting Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Cut to the Feeling”, a highly energetic song about diving right into new love.

Of the entire song, these lines were the ones I found to be the most striking:

“Ah, I wanna cut through the clouds, break the ceiling

I wanna dance on the roof, you and me alone”

Like most of us would’ve seen while watching cartoons, breaking the ceiling usually involves an emotion so great, that you feel as if you are unable to control your impulses, and leap for joy, with huge power. And in this case, so great, that you simply tear through the ceiling. Maybe, you’ve found yet another similarity you share with him, or found a similar passion, or perhaps, simply the action of accepting your invitation. You’d be on cloud nine, and nothing more matters to you.

In my opinion, the sentence “Dancing on the roof, you and me alone”, when taken literally, is rather contradictory. Picture yourself on a roof (should you ever find one you can legally occupy) and dancing on it. The unfortunate reality dictates that there’s a high possibility of you getting spotted by passersby, filmed, and STOMPed or your antics being posted onto the relevant social media platforms – hence the reason why most sane people wouldn’t do such a thing. However, it could also mean that, although many eyes are on the persona, she’s simply too enraptured and enamoured by her significant other to care about such trivial matters. In her eyes, they are her entire universe, and nothing else matters. 

Being a song in which tells the tale of new love, it makes sense that Jepsen would add lyrics such as these, to bring out emotions most people would only experience a few times in their lives. What do you think?

A Supplementary Story: You Never Walk Alone – BTS 

(Translated from Korean)

[Suga]

Hey, why does God always

Make us feel lonely

Oh no no no no no no

Yeah, even if we’re covered in scars

We can smile if we’re together

At the end of this road you walk alone

Will you step on it, whatever there may be

Sometimes we may get tired or sick

That’s okay, I am by your side

If you and I are together

We can smile

[J-Hope]

I want to fly though I have no wings

But your hands become my wings

I want to forget the dark and lonely things

Together with you

These wings sprouted from my pain

But these wings are going towards the light

Even if it’s tiring and painful, I will fly if I can

Will you hold my hand

So that I won’t be afraid anymore?

If you and I are together

I can smile

[RM]

This is the path I chose

And even if they say it’s fate

Because I created all of this

Even if they say it’s the price

I must pay for this life

Will you walk with me?

Will you fly with me?

To the edge of the sky

So I can touch your hand

Even if it hurts like this

If you and I are together

I can smile

[Jungkook, Jimin, V, Jin]

Ayy I never walk alone

I can feel the warmth in your hand that I’m holding

Ayy you never walk alone

Feel me, you’re not alone either

Come on crawl, crawl, crawl

Crawl it, like it like that

Baby walk, walk, walk

Walk it, like it like that

Baby run, run, run

Run it, like it like that

Baby fly, fly, fly

Fly it, like it like that

This road may be long and rough but

Will you stay with me?

We may fall and sometimes get hurt but

Will you stay with me?

Ayy I never walk alone

If you and I are together, we can smile[J-Hope]

Ayy you never walk alone

If you and I are together, we can smile[RM]

If you and I are together, we can smile[Suga]

This song is the 18th track in BTS’ radical album entitled “You Never Walk Alone”, which was released in 2017. It was created with the intention of delivering “messages of consolation and hope, saying we should stay together and be happy”, in the words of band member J-Hope. 

The album’s eponymous song has excellently encapsulated such a message. With lyrics such as “even if we’re covered in scars/We can smile if we’re together” and “I want to forget the dark and lonely things/together with you”, the septet provides listeners with comfort by stressing on how there are people out there who understand their pain and that their suffering is not ignored. The message of consolation that BTS manages to drive through in this particular song is similarly conveyed in member Jimin’s “Dear Class of 2020” speech: “Remember that there is a person here in Korea, in the city of Seoul, who understands you”. The group delves into topics such as mental wellness and explores the emotions brought out by the dark side of the human psyche such as loneliness and depression. Not only does the group attempt to reach out to listeners and console them, they also use this piece to evaluate their growth as people and artists, as well as confront their own fears: “This is the path I chose…Even if they say it’s the price/I must pay for this life”. The members express their resolution in choosing idoldom and their dedication to their craft, despite the strings attached. 

The following lyrics go on to mention how the support of the people who care for them is enough consolation to carry on and deal with the stress of living life in the public eye – “Even if it hurts like this/If you and I are together/I can smile”. Additionally, the song explores the special relationship between the members of the group and their fans, in which both parties can find solace in each other. “This road may be long and rough but/Will you stay with me?”

The song perfectly describes the loving relationship between BTS and their fan base, known as ARMY, giving each other strength to press on despite the challenges presented in daily life. However, in true BTS fashion, it is an ode to not only their fans but to all struggling through tough times, as they sing about reaching to others for support, who will help build their wings and send them soaring to greater heights. This meaningful song preaches not only self-acceptance but comfortingly reminds us that we “never walk alone”, making its message universal.

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