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Single Review: sick of myself by Nessa Barrett x Whethan

Nessa Barrett x Whethan

sick of myself

Release: September 8, 2023

Review by Alicia Urrea

On September 8th, 21-year old pop-star Nessa Barrett joined forces with Chicago-based DJ and producer Whethan for an eccentric yet electrifying track titled sick of myself. The song seems to be very exploratory in many aspects; most evidently, it's very sonically experimental. Barrett had yet to collaborate with a DJ thus far in her career prior to this release, especially one that is able to accentuate her raw and emotional lyricism with profound production.

sick of myself thematically describes the struggles Barrett is facing in terms of her self-image. With lyrics like "I'm sick of myself, sick of my clothes" in the chorus, and "Your personality's nice, can I try it on?" in the second verse, the track is a perfect encapsulation of the phrase "crying in the club." There's definitely a stark contrast between the vibrant production and the heartbreaking lyrics, like a drunk girl in the bathroom is pouring her heart out to you while everyone else is having fun on the other side of the door. It's a topic Barrett has explored before, in tracks like talk to myself from her young forever EP and scare myself on her pretty poison EP, discussing self-doubt and evaluating her rocky journey with self-confidence.

Barrett's sultry vocals are foremost in the first verse, only accompanied by a very faint synthesized chord progression. This is a sensational escalation for the pre-chorus, which contains a pounding bass, only to become heavier once the chorus begins. Some claps are added in, heightening the ambiance of this pop club banger. Already halfway through the track, it's an exciting variation to Barrett's discography thus far. It only intensifies from here, with the second pre-chorus somehow having a louder build-up and the second chorus amplifying in production. The bass becomes exceptionally potent and vigorous, almost sounding like they could blow out your speakers. Barrett's vocals become distorted, on-par with this dystopian sounding bass, compressing toward the tail-end of the track.

As someone who is the same age as Barrett, this song picked apart every fiber of my insecure thoughts. She amazingly captured the universal experience that all young females go through of wishing you could change anything – or everything – about yourself. Songs like these that are juxtaposed with dire lyrics and upbeat instrumentation are honestly my favorite; I love dancing while I'm crying. That might be the definition of girlhood and the pop fangirl experience.

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