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  • Giavanna Gradaille

Review: "Passenger Seat" - River Iris

Every now and then, we need to be reminded of how wonderful we are. Especially after a string of events that rob us of our ability to see ourselves in a positive light. In that particular case, self-reminders don’t pack the punch we need to realign and feel at home within ourselves. This requires social capital: a network of healthy relationships grounded in kindness, trust, and reciprocity. Simply put, we need the aid of a friend. And if you have a great friend like River Iris, they go out of their way to make a song that delivers the boost we need. “Passenger Seat” is all about showing platonic love to a friend that’s needs to be reminded of their splendor.

“Passenger Seat” is an alt-pop single that showcases the platonic love we have for our friends and the extent we’re willing to go to remind them just how special they are. The song immediately opens with a guitar melody that demands a listener’s attention while the background mellows out the sound. Afterwards, enticing synths are introduced to give the single a summer mood while Iris’s first verse gets us ready to embrace the hot season through vivid imagery. But a soulful pre-chorus delivered with Iris's soft tone gives us a quick change from the cool, eclectic sound we’ve gotten familiar with. And it’s all to emphasize the following chorus: this section grows with funky guitar plucking towards an inventive, groovy bassline that provides a unique auditory experience. Here, the lyrics “Let's change your whole perspective / Let's reach another speed / Wish you could see the way you're looking from the passenger seat”, make it abundantly clear that this is about platonic love. Specifically, this is about uplifting your friend so they can see themselves in the same light that you see them - with deep admiration. The second verse reveals how invincible our artist feels in the presence of this friend, which means that “Passenger Seat” is Iris’s reciprocation – it’s her attempt to make her friend feel the same way she does in their company. Finally, the third verse highlights how beloved this friend is not only by Iris herself, but by people that don’t even know them. It's a heartwarming sentiment. When a close friend loses sight of themselves, be a pal and send “Passenger Seat” their way to help them remember how great they are.

The current Phoenix-based singer and songwriter, River Iris, has always had an inclination for music. From holding a mic in her hand at two, to formally voice training at eleven, to eventually pursuing music as a full-time career – Iris is an artist with a deep passion for expanding and refining their craft. After attending UC Berkeley where our artist learned adaptability and variation, she backpacked around the Eastern hemisphere and grew to appreciate how intertwined all of life is. In 2020, the independent artist released their first single “Bet on Your Love”; an imaginative ballad that explores the duality of nostalgia when thinking about a past love. Since then, Iris has released several singles that showcase her lyrical confession-delivered style. For Phoenix based fans, Iris can be found putting on local performances – updates about performances found on her website here. And for those bound elsewhere that have enjoyed the artist’s ode to a friend as much as I have, you can always show Iris virtual love in the form of streams, likes, and follows.

Written by Giavanna Gradaille



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