Stumbling upon something that inspires a need to create your own thing is a heavenly experience. You feel alive and fearless. Nothing new to be said here, inspirations have fuelled the circle of art since the beginning of time – but when it becomes personal and it becomes your own, this is both an intimate and epic moment in your mind. So, when a writer sees the lyrics that make them wanna write – there’s no better compliment they can give to these few lines. This is about a song called “Roller Coaster.”
The artwork for the Utopia album by Serena Ryder
Heading back to earth. Houston, we have a problem: sometimes it’s hard to say what exactly doesn’t work when two parties want the same thing but, for some reason, are just not able to make it happen. Like with the music industry – the business model seems to be pretty uncomplicated: artists sell, people buy, yeah? But take Serena Ryder’s song, “Roller Coaster,” co-written by LP. It was released not so long ago on the deluxe edition of Serena’s album, Utopia. And you’d really like to buy it (like: really, really). But the album is not available for streaming, so you want to get a digital or physical version or, truly, a whatever version of the deluxe edition, but… they just won’t sell it to you. It’s not available in your country. Or in any other country you have friends in (no matter the time zone). It’s out there, but it’s just not available. 2019. True story.
Well, we know we’ll manage to get it, at some point. But for now, we have to settle for a live video of “Roller Coaster” which the Canadian radio station, CBC, generously shared on YouTube. The song’s absence on Spotify while it’s up on YouTube is an interesting twist on its own, but let’s try not to die from digression (though digression is life…).
Going through an endless list of LP’s collaborations and songwriting credits, we always feel this vibe of sudden softness and harmony every time we lay our eyes on “Roller Coaster.” Contrary to its title, the song offers something deeply calm and, without too much emotional turmoil, beautiful. It’s a tale and a statement at the same time. It’s a confession, with a loving embrace.
Firstly, the song’s remarkable lyrics – so enticing you just have to follow the meaning. And while you listen, all shades of what love and passion are (or could possibly be) flash before your eyes, together with all the choices you make every day because of them, despite them, for them. As your path leads you deeper into your experiences, there’s this moment when you start to understand that with love and attraction, and in life, really, nothing’s ever black and white. That’s why “Roller Coaster” is a grown-up thing. You can tell that no child wrote it.
And then there’s music behind the lyrics. “Roller Coaster” has not only that catchy melody and those compelling words, but also a musically interesting surrounding to it. Not too simple, ‘cause then it‘d be boring. Not too complicated, ‘cause it’d lose its catchiness. That perfect balance is what makes it so addictive and unturnoffable. But then, there is one element that keeps surprising us over and over again – some kind of peacefulness that washes over us while listening to the song, despite its intensely staccato rhythm diffused all over the vocal line. The short and rapidly pronounced words would usually build up in a climb towards some uneasy emotions but, instead, they are soothing. Maybe it’s because they are spread around those high sounds of the delicate, almost fairy-tale, keys? The keys that, additionally, create this beautiful juxtaposition to an immersive and dark bass line. What a refined way of merging a serene musical background with such an engaging topline! And this thrilling passage in the bridge, with the squeezed syllables of It’ll be gone in any moment line! Ah, this part is definitely the emotional pinnacle you wait for each time you give “Roller Coaster” a repeat. And you do. And it makes you wanna write.