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  • Giavanna Gradaille

Review: "Not Cool With It" - SOBI

As a former overachiever and people-pleaser, it took a lot of time for me to understand that I was overextending myself to the point of collapse. I would even punish myself for not being able to perform at the height of my capabilities for the benefit of others when I hit those periods of downfall. It wasn’t until I saw that no one was reciprocating my extreme efforts that changes needed to be made. I began setting boundaries and realistic limits for how much of myself I could pour into others. But some might not come to this self-realization - some need a little assistance. For those of us that need assistance or a simple reminder of our own emotional needs, "Not Cool With It" by SOBI is the perfect ancillary weapon.

“Not Cool With It” is a contemporary-pop song about no longer being okay with our emotional needs not being met in a connection. The song opens with delicate folksy strings while the first and second verse provides a brief history of the relationship at hand. Listeners learn that this is a very close, long-term friendship. But the introduction of the drums in the second verse marks a change in this close-knit relationship. There’s a growing tension here and it lies in the fact that the other half has “a habit of brushing off [their] mistakes”. This friendship has become one-sided; all the emotional accountability and labor is performed by one party. This is taking a toll on the performing party. But SOBI isn’t ending this bond, she’s simply setting boundaries for it. The bright, bouncy chorus symbolizes these boundaries being set so the connection no longer emotionally exhausts SOBI. And listeners get a crystal-clear image of how exhausting this relationship has been in the following verses. From driving “across the city” to cancelling “plans for the day” just to mend the friend’s heartache – it’s a heavy emotional energy to not have reciprocated and makes one feel depreciated. Which is why it’s so important to advocate for our own emotional needs within connections. The end of “Not Cool With It” gives listeners a gospel-like experience as the chorus grows into an anthem for people-pleasers everywhere. It’s a reminder and a much-needed push for those of us that might feel guilty for wanting our emotional needs to be met that it’s perfectly all right to have this desire.

London-grown singer and songwriter, SOBI, began writing and performing for listening audiences at 16. Her instrument of choice was the acoustic guitar; it provided a deep intimacy to the stories she told and got fans hooked. But after watching Lianne La Havas perform with an electric guitar, she was inspired to take on the edgier stringed instrument which would evolve her intimate sound into a therapeutic oasis to sweep up listeners in. Since then, SOBI’s performed her confessional-styled songs on several tours and garnered a loyal following in the U.K. and Germany. Currently, SOBI is working on her debut album that’s set to be released in early 2024. If you’ve enjoyed SOBI’s music as much as I have, show the artist some virtual love in the form of streams, likes, and follows so we can establish a loyal American fanbase.

Written by Giavanna Gradaille



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