There is no confusion quite like the confusion that accompanies the break-up rebound — the heart trying to open itself up again to the world, against the white-knuckle grip of that older love. It’s a charged energy that budding NYC pop artist Softee navigates deftly on her new song, “Crush.”
Softee is the DIY project of Nina Grollman, a Julliard-trained actress who made her Broadway debut opposite Denzel Washington in a 2018 production of Eugene O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh, and later starred as Scout Finch in the recent revival of To Kill a Mockingbird. That background seems to inform Grollman’s music to a certain extent, especially on “Crush,” where she weaves a bit of dramatic tension to create the perfect pay-off on the hook.
Co-produced with Mr.Batties (the moniker of Jeremy Chinn), the track is a swooning synth-pop gem that opens up at the bridge with a stream of strings that give the song a vintage disco feel, like glittery teardrops hitting the dance floor. Softee’s vocals are high and lithe to match, and the chorus hits with the power of simple phrases paired with perfect melodic choices: “I’ve got a crush on everyone, on everyone/I think I can’t love anyone, no/Love anyone, love anyone like I love you.”
“Crush” also arrives with a video crafted by Caroline Knight that blends footage found on the internet with Chinese karaoke videos that were still sitting on a used DV camera she purchased two years ago. The result is a surreal sing-along collage that perfectly complements the gauzy heartache of “Crush.”
“Crush” will appear on Softee’s upcoming album, Keep On, out October 2nd. The record follows her 2019 EP, Oh No.
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