“I just wanna feel normal for the night.”
You know the thing where you’re out at a club – or, worse, a house party – and everyone’s turnt all the way up to 11, grinding their way through some trop-pop Chainsmokers knock-off or Ed Sheeran or who even knows at this point, and you’re aggressively making out with a solid 5.5 in the corner in a substance and stress-induced lapse of judgment while simultaneously sexting your ex, knowing that everything about this moment is so, so tragic, but you’re choosing to pretend it’s fine and snapping selfies and taking blurry videos of dark dance floors full of people because isn’t this what being young and free is all about, and aren’t you so glad you didn’t stay at home?
Meet Sasha Sloan, one of my favorite fast-rising singer-songwriters on the pop scene (she just co-wrote “Track 10” on the Charli XCX Pop 2 mixtape!), and the voice behind the all-too-real introvert anthem, “Normal.”
Thematically, imagine if Alessia Cara wasn’t hiding out in that room penning “Here,” and drowning all that social anxiety in booze instead. Or, imagine if Julia Michaels‘ “Issues” were single and consistently staying out until sunrise.
“Keep on playing that song that I don’t like / I just wanna feel normal for the night,” she sadly, defeatedly urges across a subtly danceable pulse. It’s a beat that sounds like it’s almost having fun, but not quite.
“I wrote ‘Normal’ at a time when I was partying a lot. I don’t think I realized it at the time, but I was avoiding all the real problems in my life by going out and pretending to be someone else. I did this a lot in high school too — most of my life I’ve felt like an outsider so I would go to parties to feel like I fit in. There isn’t a single lyric in this song that isn’t true. I’ve definitely sang along to songs I hated and made out with guys I wasn’t really into just to seem cool. ‘Normal’ is about wanting to blend into the crowd for a night and I hope someone out there can relate,” she told Billboard of the track.
Oh, someone definitely relates, Sasha.
Plenty of people have no problem partying. But for those of you who have plenty of experience doing your best extrovert drag while slowly dying on the inside, this one ought to make you feel slightly more, well…normal.
“Normal” was released on February 2. (iTunes)
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