“HE” is the most recent release from indie punk rock band Livia & The Rosebuds. Opening with delayed keys and some funk rock bass and guitar, we already know we’re in for a good time. Enter slightly overdriven lead vocals and this song really cruises. The interplay between the bass line and a plucky lead guitar keeps the verses fresh through to each chorus, where the narrator’s story is empowered by driving blues rock vocals and big indie rock guitars. The lyrics and vocals recall a heavier version of “Before He Cheats” (Kelly Clarkson).
The track also features a fantastic seamless transition into a slower, intoxicating dream sequence with quieter, layered vocals, shoegaze style guitars, and washy drums that together deceptively lure us into a pleasant, but false, sense of security after the aggressive attitude of the majority of the song. As listeners, we become the subject of the song - the person falling back under the narrator’s deceitful enchantments because despite their bad behavior, she also cannot quit them.
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Livia & The Rosebuds - HE