Listen To This: NYU sophomore Mia Tims’ ‘Live Forever’ is an indie-rock earworm

Read about this week’s most notable singles by hemlocke springs, Camp Kona and more.


Susan Behrends Valenzuela

(Illustration by Susan Behrends Valenzuela)

This week, we feature a range of genres — from indie-rock to electropop — as well as two NYU artists. For TikTok scrollers, we also review hemlocke springs’ new track, “girlfriend.” Read on for more.

“Live Forever” by Mia Tims

Abbie Thompson, Contributing Writer

“Live Forever” — the lead single on NYU Clive Davis Institute sophomore Mia Tims’ upcoming EP — features Julia Jacklin-esque reverbed vocals and lyrics that crave to be screamed while speeding down a highway in the midst of a post-breakup breakdown. The single finds Tims hung up on a lost love as she wistfully sings, “Do you feel it now / Underneath your skin / I can feel you creeping in” over a pulsating guitar and a foot-tappable drum part. With the satisfying indie-rock build of an early Lucy Dacus track and a punchy post-chorus guitar solo à la beabadoobee’s “Dye It Red,” “Live Forever” finds its place among the indie-rock gods of today — and yet, the driving melody and melancholic lyrics still manage to feel refreshingly new. An instantly catchy tune that demands to be played on repeat, this song augurs a bright future for Tims. 

“girlfriend” by hemlocke springs

Sandy Battulga, Staff Writer

In the bridge of her new single “girlfriend,” hemlocke springs sings, “Two, three, four.. / Secretly I’m aiming for / A rhythm that exceeds my expectations / Am I ever gonna get it / Ya girl is in the business / So there’s little room for idle contemplation.” This clip is responsible for vaulting the song into TikTok virality. Released on Nov. 2, “girlfriend” has garnered over 2.8 million streams on Spotify, and doesn’t appear to be slowing down any time soon. Springs said in a TikTok that she recorded the song in her bedroom in North Carolina, crafting a relatively simple composition that features an original sound and intriguing narrative. 

Although all of the instrumentation was created with premade sound bundles in Logic, “girlfriend” is the opposite of run-of-the-mill. The choppy synth melody that runs throughout the whole track, the use of an otherworldly digital string section and springs’ unique voice create a whimsical electronic soundscape — perfect as the backdrop for playing Animal Crossing. The artist’s stylized vocals also contribute to the cartoonish tone of “girlfriend,” with TikTok comments drawing comparisons between the artist and characters like Louise Belcher from “Bob’s Burgers” and Mabel Pines from “Gravity Falls”. The different vocal inflections that springs utilizes, such as the slight rasp that seeps into her soft whisper-singing and strained yelling of her ad-libs, help to shape a narrative that immediately captivates the listener. The only problem with this song is how devastatingly short it is, being just over two minutes long. Its brevity, however, lends itself to endless repeats. With this single, hemlocke springs has proven herself a key player in the field of electropop — thus leaving much anticipation for her next release. 

“Rely On (頼らない)” by Camp Kona

Yas Akdag, Music Editor

Camp Kona’s latest single “Rely On (頼らない)” is bilingual electropop bliss. The Clive Davis alum sings in both English and Japanese as she reflects on the potential future of a romantic connection. “I need someone I can rely on,” she sings over a bumping 808 bass, 16th-note hi-hats and skittish, video game-like synths, before explaining in the second verse, “Being alone don’t scare me / I know I make myself happy / You gotta be different / Don’t run for the hills just as soon as you hit it.” The artist smoothly combines the two languages, with the melodic Japanese phrases slotting in perfectly to set up or finish off the English ones. Through her direct, candid lyrics and multilingual approach, “Rely On,” adds a delightfully refreshing and idiosyncratic spin to an en vogue, quasi-stagnant genre.

“Fallout” by Yo La Tengo

Holden Lay, Staff Writer

On “Fallout”, Yo La Tengo doesn’t skip a beat, seamlessly slipping back into the sound of their slacker-rock prime as if they haven’t been one of indie rock’s most exciting and consistently innovative bands for over 30 years. It’s strangely moving to hear Ira Kaplan, James McNew and Georgia Hubley playing a new song in this style again, but it hardly feels like an imitation of their own late ’90s work. Instead, they find a renewed sense of wisdom and immediacy in their songwriting, with Kaplan lamenting the misery of introspection, as he sings, “Makes me sick / What’s in my mind / It’s so hard to react in kind / I want to fall out of time” and “I won’t tell you how it’s gonna be / I don’t have what you want from me.” Over rolling waves of chugging guitar and a thumping fuzzed-out bassline, his vocals sound as withdrawn and delicately gorgeous as ever. After the drawn-out experimentations of their wide-ranging 2018 album “There’s A Riot Going On,” Yo La Tengo has once again proven their capacity for the delightfully unexpected — this time, by taking it back to basics.

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