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  • Tessa Maddaloni

Review: "stages of grief (acoustic)" - Makena



Makena’s newest release “stages of grief (acoustic)” might have just become my newest breakup anthem. The song puts a spin on the rumored 5 stages of grief denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance, and relates them to how a person going through heartbreak would experience them. The song itself is acoustic, so the simple pulsation and instrumentals in the background eb and flow with the lyrics and the structure of the song, without taking away from the meaning. The bones of the song are set up simply, with stages one and two being in the first verse, then an all encompassing chorus, then stages three and four in the second verse, another chorus, and stage five in an outro. The lyrics are hard hitting and realistic, and the listener can practically see Makena in every stage she details. The next time someone breaks my heart, at least I know I have a song that can relate to every single step.



The verses talk about specific instances that everyone who has gone through a breakup can definitely relate to, such as talking shit to your friends, going out and hoping to see them, then the depression after you don’t. My favorite lyric, however, is the pre-chorus and the slight changes from the first to second one. In the first pre-chorus, Makena sings, “reading all the self help books / it gets harder everyday i don’t call you / even though i want to.” Clearly, she is not doing so well. All she wants to do is talk to her ex lover, and she is trying so desperately hard to get over it, i.e. the self help books. However, by the second pre chorus (and by this point in the song she is presumably in between stages four and five) she throws away the books and states that it's easier not to talk to them now, and truthfully she doesn’t even want to. The growth is prominent, and you find yourself cheering her on while simultaneously healing your own heart from any grief it has felt. The most touching part of the song is the outro, where she simply states, “stage five / i forgot how it feels to breathe” and the song ends abruptly. She doesn’t need to explain herself any further, the listener simply knows that she is happier and healthier.


Makena is an LA based singer-songwriter on her rise to fame. She began writing at a young age, and her pop vocals tied with her intricate lyrics relate her overall vibe to artists such as Taylor Swift, Olivia O’Brien, and Fletcher. She recounts wanting to write a song like this because "Everyone talks about the love of your life, but what about the heartbreak of your life? Losing someone you love can feel like a death, and I wanted to capture that feeling in this song." This is such a true statement, and clearly she has accomplished this. The original version of this track has over 100,000 streams, and has garnered her over 20k monthly listeners. Make sure to follow the social medias below to stay tuned for more music from Makena.


Written By Tessa Maddaloni


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