Review: Arlie’s “poppin” New Single Is a Buoyant & Poignant Embrace of Vulnerability

Arlie © 2021
Arlie © 2021
A poignant indie pop serenade, Arlie’s heart-on-sleeve “poppin” shines bright as the band embrace vulnerability, dwelling in the depths of longing while reveling in a playful, wondrous sound.
for fans of The 1975, Valley, LANY, Pale Waves
Stream: “poppin” – Arlie




We used to talk and now you’re popping off and you’re blowing up on the internet, I don’t want a part of it…

A poignant heart-on-sleeve serenade, Arlie’s latest release burns bright with tender, buoyant indie pop and bittersweet, raw honesty. It’s a one-sided heart-to-heart; a musical letter to someone who may never respond, fueled by yearning and a kind of nostalgia not only for what was, but also for what could have been. Candid and soaring, “poppin” shines bright as Arlie embrace vulnerability, dwelling in the depths of longing and desire while reveling in a playful, wondrous pop sound.

poppin - Arlie
poppin – Arlie
We used to talk and now you’re
popping off and you’re blowing up

On the internet, I don’t want a part of it
Not gonna be your fan, if I can’t be your friend
And I don’t even blame you, I’d have done the same, too
But you’re too much like me, you’re unreliable
You probably don’t like boys anyway
But I could be your girlfriend,
if that’s what you need right now

Released July 28, 2021 via Atlantic Records, “poppin” follows this June’s “Karma” as Arlie’s second single of the year. It’s a welcome return from the Nashville indie pop band – whose current lineup includes Nate Banks on vocals and guitar, Jason Antwi on bass, George Miller on keyboards, Carson Lystad on backing guitars, and Adam Lochemes on drums. Their first two releases since 2018’s debut EP Wait find them sounding bigger and better than ever, utilizing the fullness of sonic “space” by giving their instruments room to breathe, while at the same time filling our world with colorful, expressive, and deeply emotional lyrics.

Arlie © 2021
Arlie © 2021

“poppin” is an especially evocative release, with Banks spilling his soul about a personal connection with someone who, in his own words, starts “popping off and blowing up” just as they’re really hitting it off. We’ve all lost a special connection, or seen friendships and romances deflate – some before they had the chance to become something more, others after a strong relationship was already established. It hurts to have a text go unnoticed or a voicemail left unacknowledged; to have a piece of yourself sitting out in the ether, waiting for reciprocal recognition, expression, and understanding. Even the closest friends go MIA from time to time, but now when they’re too busy for us, we can send them this song.

Banks and his bandmates channel a torrent of angst and ache into a sonically sweet, emotionally raw chorus (which, if we’re being technical, continues into an equally irresistible post-chorus):

We used to talk and now you’re popping off and you’re blowing up
On the internet, I don’t want a part of it
And now I’m up and down, and you’re probably out
With your other friends, I can get over it
For you, pick me up now
I’ll sit shotgun, take it in, shut my mouth
Ooh-ooh, you’re showing off now
Tell me dad jokes, take me back to your house
Tell me what you (what you)
Really think of me (think of me, think of me)
Oh, tell me what you (what you)
Really think of me (think of me, think of me)

“‘poppin’ was inspired by a real-life experience I went through with someone I admire,” Nate Banks tells Atwood Magazine. “They were already on fire when we met, but were reaching new heights of attention and praise right around the time we were getting to know each other. They weren’t responding to texts as much and had to cancel on me a couple of times. I couldn’t help but feel a little bit like they were getting too cool for me and leaving me behind.”

“At the same time, I was in a period of intentionally working on my sense of self-worth, and so the song arose out of the convergence of those conflicting feelings. I wanted to keep it vulnerable but keep it playful and lighthearted at the same time.”

Arlie © 2021
Arlie © 2021

I wanted to keep it vulnerable but keep it playful and lighthearted at the same time.

And being big and strong isn’t quite sustainable
Not in this climate, best to stay quiet
Never been on this end of the seesaw, I
Guess I can see how it’s enticing, partly
‘Cause it’s so goddamn dangerous, you could crush me
At any moment, I, I kinda love it
‘Cause it’s so goddamn dangerous, you could crush me
At any moment, I
We used to talk and now you’re popping off and you’re blowing up
On the internet, I don’t want a part of it
And now I’m up and down, and you’re probably out
With your other friends, I can get over it

It’s easy to get lost in Arlie’s glistening pop world. Sonically, “poppin” is similar to recent releases from Toronto artist-to-watch Valley, and some of the soundscapes within The 1975’s sophomore album I Like It When You Sleep… – yet some of the magic in this song, in particular, lies in the juxtaposition between its upbeat melodies and more melancholy lyrics. The band’s bouncy, gentle guitar licks and vivid beats invite our minds to run wild as we conjure up memories and moments just like the events of “poppin,” where we ourselves have been at our most vulnerable, perhaps for the very first time.

Ultimately, Arlie succeed in getting us lost in our own daydreams – and what better way to captivate an audience is there?

“poppin” is intimate and enchanting: A beautiful, catchy, heart-on-sleeve pop song that tells it like it is, laying everything out on the table. It may be the end of the road for this relationship, but at least Arlie sang their truth.

Needless to say, we can’t wait to hear more from this band this summer and fall.

We used to talk and now you’re popping off and you’re blowing up
On the internet, I don’t want a part of it
And now I’m up and down, and you’re probably out
With your other friends, I can get over it
For you, pick me up now
I’ll sit shotgun, take it in, shut my mouth
Ooh-ooh, you’re showing off now
Tell me dad jokes, take me back to your house
Tell me what you (what you)
Really think of me (think of me, think of me)
Oh, tell me what you (what you)
Really think of me (think of me, think of me

— —

:: stream/purchase poppin here ::
Stream: “poppin” – Arlie



— — — —

poppin - Arlie

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📸 © 2021

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