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  • Andy Mockbee

Review: "Jealous" - Rachel Newnham

Rachel Newnham writes of contradictions like she's letting you in on a secret. "Shares the boyfriend, but not the breakup," she quips on the first verse of her latest single, "Jealous." But even as she pulls the curtain back on social media's false presentation of reality, it's not done with malice or judgement. With only her second single, the London-based artist establishes herself as a pop narrator for the moments in which we relinquish ourselves to illogical emotions. Everybody knows the futility of comparing your life to others, yet we fall for it every time. On "Jealous," Newnham gives space for that very emotion. Over jaunty pop, she takes control over jealousy by accepting it. Like a monstrous shadow cast by a mouse, envy is a lot less powerful in the open.

By nature, "Jealous" is mercurial; Newnham feeds into frustrations and comparisons before skipping along with an unburdened sense of relief. The faint tremolo on the guitar gives the rubbery verses a whimsical quality, softening the lyrics with a knowing smirk. The pre-chorus offers a glimpse of these emotions tearing her apart from inside, belting over soaring synths, but the good vibes return with an elastic snap. "Maybe I'm jealous," she chants. Jealousy is often viewed as an unsavory emotion, and thus, it's often hidden from others. The shame of internalizing emotions only serves to exacerbate them. On "Jealous," accepting the universal insecurity we all experience is the key to overcoming it.

Rachel Newnham first gained notoriety for her appearance on the hit BBC 1 show, "I Can See Your Voice." After receiving glowing praise for her performance from both judges and audiences, her pop star was undeniably on the rise. Her first single, "Nobody Loves You Like I Do," released in June of this year. That song roots itself in traditional piano balladry, before opening up into a genre-bending hybrid of lofi, lush acoustics, and heartfelt vocals. "Jealous" was co-written and produced by Matt Wills. Newnham states that Tate McRae's "she's all I wanna be" and Olivia Rodrigo's "jealousy, jealousy" both served as inspirations for the song.

Written By Andy M.

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