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  • Giavanna Gradaille

Review: "Reuben" - Natalie Livingston

Did you miss The Eras Tour? No worries. I’ve got an artist that’ll satisfy all your Swiftie needs without the hefty price-tag, but all the excitement and more. Natalie Livingston serves up a fresh perspective that embraces living your best, untamed summer. An understated part of this carefree mindset means going against the culture of optimization and organization that’s been forced upon us. And the best way to ensure that culture takes the backseat during this hot season is by participating in events that make us throw caution to the wind. In Livingston’s latest single, “Reuben”, our artist showcases how a brief fling does not have to be meaningless while still embodying the elements of a feral girl summer.

“Reuben” is a bubblegum-pop single that not only plays homage to long forgotten rom-coms but allows us to bask in main girl energy. Rom-coms like My Best Friend’s Wedding, The Purple Rose of Cairo, and When We First Met are not films that immediately come to mind when we think of the movie genre because they don’t have the usual ending audiences are anticipating. Instead, the endings of these movies make us realize alongside the protagonists that some connections are never meant to evolve into serious, long-term relationships. Sometimes, they’re just meant to be life lessons that force us to grow. And this is exactly the point that “Reuben” drives home; the single allows us to enjoy the moment through sexual liberation without greater expectations. The single immediately begins with an infectious melody while the opening verse highlights stepping away from the culture of optimization and organization. The fixation with being “a good girl” is just not needed when your intent is to have unadulterated fun. Especially when that fun comes in the form of the sexy, British fling, Reuben. In the chorus Livingston gives us charmingly sweet vocals to disguise some of the witty lyricism in this section that pokes a little fun at the typical rom-com formula. This formula involves a chance meeting that entails a night of getting familiar “in the dark” that somehow eventually leads to marriage. It sets up an unrealistic expectation and makes lovers of rom-coms hopelessly yearn for this chance meeting. But “Reuben” brings listeners down to earth. Livingston best sums up their experience with Reuben in the last line in the bridge: “Who knew that loving a tourist could be fleeting”. Not everyone we meet is meant to be our one and only, or to have a permanent presence in our life. By framing all our interactions with people in this context, we rob ourselves of the opportunity to enjoy living in moment – the essence of main girl energy.

Natalie Livingston is a singer and songwriter currently residing in New York City. When they’re not getting themselves involved in situations and circumstances that are worthy of being in a 90s sitcom, they’re performing their discography around the metro New York area and New England. When you’re ready to recover and prepare for the next feral girl weekend, you can unwind with singles like “Crying Shame” and “Reprise”. Both songs can be found on Livingston’s 2021 debut EP Still To This Day. Our artist is also a co-producer alongside Caroline McQuaig for the podcast concert series, Siren Songs. Siren Songs showcases women, trans, and non-binary musical artists – detailing what inspires their craft and upcoming releases to be on the lookout for. The linktree in Siren Songs bio not only gives listeners a link to the podcast, but also links to databases for both artists and photographers; artists apply to be featured on the podcast while photographers apply to be connected to artists in need of album cover art and shots of live performances. If you've enjoyed Natalie Livingston's "Reuben" as much as I have, some them some virtual love in the form of streams, likes, and follows.

Written by Giavanna Gradaille



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