Today’s Song: Addicting and All-Consuming, “I’m in Love” Is Jelani Aryeh’s Anthem to the Frustrations of Young Love

I'm in Love - Jelani Aryeh
I'm in Love - Jelani Aryeh
With “I’m in Love,” Jelani Aryeh returns to the indie pop scene with a relatable, soundtrack-worthy single for the coming-of-age storyline in all of us.
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Stream: “I’m in Love” – Jelani Aryeh

The film opens with an aerial shot of a high schooler’s chaotic room. The grainy texture only adds to the cluttered aesthetic with clothes dispersed over the floor, a half-finished pack of cigarettes on the desk, and a drum set resting in the corner. After hitting snooze multiple times, they begrudgingly get up with the perfect messy but somehow hot bed-head. All the irritation and annoyance about going to school is put on pause when this song comes on because they remember they’re in love.

I'm in Love - Jelani Aryeh
I’m in Love – Jelani Aryeh

Dancing in your room with headphones silencing all reminders of reality, that’s what it feels like to listen to Jelani Aryeh’s “I’m in Love.” Immediately captivating and equally addicting, “I’m in Love” plays like a coming-of-age film, an experience that Aryeh has become adept at curating through sound.

Nearly two and half years since his last solo release, Aryeh ushered in his sophomore project with “I’m in Love” via IMPERIAL Music on January 19. After dropping his debut album, introducing us to the viral “Stella Brown,” and touring with the likes of Hippo Campus, Remi Wolf, and Maggie Rogers, the time has finally come for Aryeh to tease the sequel to the euphoric and heartbreaking I’ve Got Some Living To Do. The upcoming record was first hinted at via Aryeh’s Instagram in August of 2023 in collaboration with producers and songwriters Alex Craig and Jack Kolbe. With an album soft launch featuring the indie essentials of Ableton loops, manga figurines, and seconds of snippets, Aryeh’s next project is a welcome if not highly anticipated return.

Jelani Aryeh © 2024
Jelani Aryeh © 2024

Aryeh’s ability to capture first love (or second or third) comes from his seamless interpolation of poignant lyricism with catchy guitar loops. The production of “I’m in Love” is never overstated nor pretentious, but manages to sound refined while still feeling raw. From the fuzzy amp adjustments in the introduction to the white noise whirring in the chorus, “I’m in Love” is intentionally messy at the right moments. This casual-like energy makes “I’m in Love” feel familiar and comfortable as if you were listening to a neighborhood band rehearse in your parent’s garage. It’s the kind of song you can instantly enjoy because of the magnetic production filled with catchy rhythmic guitars and crisp snare drums you can’t help but feel throughout your body.

Not to be fooled by the intoxicating instrumentals, the emotions  behind “I’m in Love” do not share the upbeat nature of its auditory impressions. In a similar fashion to Lorde’s “Supercut,” this track revolves around a main character’s plotline that the narrator does not necessarily want to fill. Despite being in love, Aryeh is still yearning. It’s not quite unrequited love, but also not quite the love that he imagined for himself. The desire to make the relationship work blinds him from seeing what it really is:

Oh like there’s nothin’ you could ever do wrong
‘Cause it’s tunnel vision
Shinin’ a spotlight on you
Can we pretend it’s perfect?
Can we pretend it’s all the things that I want?
Jelani Aryeh © Daniel Lang
Jelani Aryeh © Daniel Lang

While Aryeh addresses his partner, he also confronts his consciousness. There’s a part of him telling him something is not right though he desperately strives to convince it otherwise. All the signs are there but the delusions of love continue to build as Aryeh repeats: And it’s not the first time this is leavin’ your lips, But lie to me and say you believe it exists, my love, ‘Cause I’m in love. The repetition of “in love” serves as more of an act of persuasion than a reminder, justifying him to stay with this person. Relatability mixed with reiteration, Aryeh’s “I’m in Love” sonically replicates the all-consuming if at times obsessive frustration of love that defines the track as he closes out the track:

Let me have this
Just let me hold on to this feelin’ we’ve imagined
Just let me hold on to this dream
Just let me have this

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:: connect with Jelani Aryeh here ::
Stream: “I’m in Love” – Jelani Aryeh

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I'm in Love - Jelani Aryeh

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