Ever since The Chainsmokers burst onto the EDM scene with their breakout singles, “Roses” and “Don’t Let Me Down,” the duo — Andrew Taggart and Alex Pall — have been twisting our perceptions of EDM, introducing us to weird but satisfying collaborations and production styles.
I’m talking about the alt-rock “Sick Boy” from 2018, the dream-poppy “Paris” from 2017, and the generation-hopping collaboration with blink-182, “P.S. I Hope You’re Happy” from 2019.
For me, the ambiguity in their music production is some of the finest of our generation.
In “High,” the duo’s first new single since the 2019 album “World War Joy,” The Chainsmokers mix hip-hop and alt-rock elements into their EDM roots. The song starts off with an acoustic guitar and bounces back and forth between a familiar boom-bap drum pattern derived from modern hip-hop taste and an alt-rock kick-snare beat.
The thing that stood out to me most, however, was Taggart’s lyrics. The song is a ballad of an empty, cliché relationship, where Taggart wants to move past the basic, unhealthy lifestyle of his partner.
But he has an attachment to them.
“You play the same old songs/ I know that you’re different in your Air Force Ones.” Taggart sings “Why?/ You’ll only say you love me when you’re high…”
This concept is applicable to modern relationships, especially as a college student. We’re all in a crucial period of our lives where we learn what it means to be on our own. That doesn’t just mean doing our laundry and figuring out meals: It applies to everything we do from here on out, whether it be in our relationships, our habits or our aspirations.
“High” hits the nail right on the head to me. Taggart brings up heavy topics like addiction and love, emphasizing that you can’t just show affection when it’s convenient and how intoxicated “I love yous” only go so far. He also brings up lighter discrepancies, like how his partner plays the same old songs and wears Air Force Ones, playing on the whole idea of being “basic.”
What’s most interesting is when Taggart says, “But you're the only one I can't run away from.” He feels like he needs to stay with that person despite their detrimental tendencies, sucking up the negative feelings he’s having just because he loves them.
With both masterful production and socially relevant lyrics, “High” is a great song.
It’s a song you could dance to at Brick Street or just listen to when doing homework.
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I can’t wait to see what the Chainsmokers have in store for us in their upcoming album.