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  • Karlee Skipper

Review: "i don't sleep as good as i used to" - GAYLE

GAYLE has once again blessed her fans with a fiery pop-rock anthem that was made to be played on repeat at full volume. “i don’t sleep as good as i used to” is a deeply candid track about growing up and realizing that the world is not as wonderous and beautiful as it once was. Now that GAYLE is older and wiser, and has faced the many hardships this life has to offer, she has realized that this world is in fact cruel and filled with unrelenting suffering. With her innocence stripped from her, she is no longer able to sleep easily as the horrors of today’s society haunts her. This is an unfortunate phenomenon that impacts many young people globally. While they are forced to digest the terrors of the world, they are still expected to wake up early the next day and work like nothing happened. Throughout the song, GAYLE confesses that she hates night-time because she is unable to fall asleep. Her brain continuously goes through these morbid and dark thoughts, unable to shake her anxiety. No amount of melatonin can help her and she is stuck in an endless loop. In the second pre-chorus, she sings the profound lyric: “’Cause how am I supposed to live my life, when everybody’s born to die?” This lyric not only describes her inner most thoughts and fears, but also may be a subtle nod to her 2022 track, “god has a sense of humor.” This melancholic ballad discusses the loss of innocence and the loss of loved ones, and how nobody truly knows what the meaning of life is. Through each one of her releases, GAYLE conveys a level of authenticity and boldness that proves she is a cut above the rest. She does not hold back in her songwriting and tells the audience her honest emotions through cutthroat lyrics while highlighting her vulnerability. With “i don’t sleep as good as i used to,” the singer once again showcases her powerful spirit and her unapologetic personality, while discussing critical topics that resonate with listeners.

Even with her most despondent, somber tracks, GAYLE still ignites a burning fire through her infectious pop-rock songs. “i don’t sleep as good as i used to” may contain more solemn lyrics, but the singer lets out her anger and frustration through the energetic production of the track. The song kicks off with GAYLE’s powerful vocals, quickly met by an acoustic guitar playing muted chords. The guitar focuses on the root note, picking it twice before strumming the whole chord. The muted strum pattern allows the guitar to be played louder without overpowering the vocals. The pre-chorus changes the production to signify the build into the chorus. The guitar strums only the bass note while a keyboard follows the melody of the vocals. As GAYLE’s vocals slow down while she sings the line, “Close my eyes,” an alarm clock goes off, symbolizing the constant interruptions that disrupt her and make her unable to stay asleep. This introduces the chorus led by the acoustic guitar playing only the bass notes alongside a bass guitar. The second half of the chorus picks up the snares and bass drum, while layered vocals are added and remain periodically throughout the song, providing a more dynamic sound. As the chorus continues, guitar feedback is heard in the background, hinting at a build-up into an explosion. The drums speed up at the end, before the anticipated explosion hits, introducing an electrifying guitar solo that epitomizes GAYLE’s iconic alt-rock sound. The bass drum plays the last few beats as the final note is held out on the guitar, signifying the transition into the second verse. The drums and bass continue alongside the now-unmuted acoustic guitar that periodically plays licks in the background. Additionally, the guitar plays notes that harmonize with the melody of the vocals. The second pre-chorus differs from the first, as an electric guitar and drums guide the listener through the song. The bass and cymbals hit on the down beat as GAYLE sings “born to die,” signifying the explosion back into the chorus. This time, the chorus is led by the electric guitar strumming power chords while the drums and bass play in the background. This transitions to the powerful bridge that utilizes a unique scale change on the guitar that is mirrored by the vocals. This leads into the emotional climax as GAYLE screams the statement: “what the fuck’s wrong with me.” The production fades during the last word, while the singer’s scream lingers. She ends this by taking an exasperated breath, showcasing her frustration and defeat. This signifies the introduction into the final chorus, where the vocals have a subtle muffle effect, and the electric guitar plays the bass note of the power chord. Then, a brief pause in the instrumentation, prior to the second half of the chorus, makes the fiery eruption back into the full production even more formidable. This maintains into the outro before the song abruptly ends, in the classic GAYLE style, emphasizing that “i don’t sleep as good as i used to” is another outstanding pop-rock anthem by the multi-talented artist.

Taylor Gayle Rutherfurd, better known as GAYLE, is a 19-year-old pop-rock singer-songwriter. In 2021, she signed with Atlantic Records and released her 3x Platinum single, “abcdefu”. Quickly the song went viral on TikTok and Instagram, gaining her a significant following on social media. Her hit single peaked at number three on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States and earned the number one spot in multiple international countries, including the United Kingdom and Germany. The massive success resulted in her earning a Grammy Awards Song of the Year nomination, a Billboard Music Award nomination, and two MTV Video Music Award nominations. In March 2022, she released her debut EP, a study of the human experience volume one, which included “abcdefu”. In October 2022, she released her follow-up EP, a study of the human experience volume two. Then in December 2022, she released a special EP, a study of the human experience volume two and a half, which included unique remixes of songs from both EPs. With all these incredible accomplishments, GAYLE has proven that she is a force to be reckoned with and has declared 2023 as her year. She was a special guest on Taylor Swift’s sold-out Eras Tour as an opening act for 15 select tour dates, including opening night in Glendale and closing night in Los Angeles. Additionally, she spent her summer as a supporting act on the European leg of P!NK’S Summer Carnival Tour. This fall, she will be heading back on the road for her own headlining tour, the scared but trying tour. Check out her social media for information on show dates near you! I will be at the Los Angeles show on October 25th, so if you are in attendance, come say hi!

Written By Karlee Skipper



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