Painted Girl - Familiar Trees of the North West
Familiar Trees of the North West
May 22, 2022
Muffled piano immediately begins to overlap itself, falling into a spiral of dulled euphoria as bh welcomes us to the new single we should just stay friends. The growing instrumentation is swept up swiftly and space is made for a heartfelt and quaint melody. From there we launch into an infectious pop track, the percussion and melody tightly wound around each other.
The feeling is one a little more upbeat than the artist’s previous single sitting alone at a party, but there are tinges of sadness. As bh delivers the lyrics in that characteristically tuneful vocal style, a similar theme to the artist’s previous song plays out. The focal point is a realisation that the special aura surrounding a relationship may be ebbing away, and that what is left is more a friendship than a deep affection. The artist approaches those feelings of jealousy and desire in such a wonderfully youthful way once again, that creeping feeling that the person that you love has now relinquished their grip on you and that they might even be looking toward sharing an embrace with someone else. These are notions that can so often come off as irritable, but bh frames them in such a pure way, allowing the listener to approach them and even empathise.
As the artist builds up to breaking the silence with their partner and relegating their once blossoming love, we are launched into a heavy rhythm accented by vocal samples. Cacophonous melodies begin to cascade around the beat, set off by the large impacts. The feeling is bittersweet, one of release with heartbreak intertwined.
The second verse is incredibly written. What starts as an awkward but wholesome suggestion of acting out this new friendship ends with our singer falling into old patterns. As the lyrics creep by, more and more emotion breaches their words. It goes from ‘we should go downtown today’ to ‘do you think you’ll come by soon?’ By the end we get a deeply saddening admission of loneliness, followed by a tearful return and reiteration of the chorus’ message. The person that you are with does not feel the same as they once did, and it really is time for you implement an amount of distance for a while. From here we launch into a heavy beat once again, this release following the second admission that the love that was once there has left and that it may be time to move on.
It is genuinely hard to find an artist that approaches those bittersweet moments of youthful relationships as masterfully as bh does. The song itself is upbeat and enjoyable to listen to. But layered within the sweetness of the track is an incredibly frank representation of love and the struggles that come with it. The artist is incredible at lyricism and crafting an accurate representation of those moments we’ve all had that we’d probably rather forget. This track and the one that came before it remind us that we are human and that it is okay to feel sad when requited love does not come our way.