Sunny, indie-rock to be considered “cool”
Adapting to a new way of life is one of the most difficult things to deal with. Humanity had to find ways to adapt during the pandemic—some ways to continue to feel at least a little bit “normal” albeit a sprinkle of apocalyptic fear. Colleen Green, the Massachusetts-based indie rock artist, also had to adapt to a new lifestyle. After being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease at possibly the worst time to be diagnosed (in the middle of a terrifying pandemic), Green moved back to her home in Lowell, Massachusetts from Los Angeles. The pandemic forced many musical artists to adapt to new ways to perform their music. Virtual shows started to take flight, as well as the Instagram live concert, Green being one of those artists.
In this new world that Green found herself living in, she created Cool six years after her release I Want To Grow Up. Cool furthers the idea of the previous album that growing up doesn’t just happen within a certain amount of human life. Growing up happens constantly, and part of growing up is learning from what life brings—and to have a little fun every now and again. The sound of Cool is a soft, sunny afternoon with small intricacies that make it all Green’s own creation. Each rhythmic bright guitar pluck is a beam of sunlight reaching through the leaves on a tree branch.
The single off the album, “I Wanna Be a Dog,” is bright, fun and quite literally exactly what it says it’s about. Green’s happy vocals play out over a repeated “ooh,” combined with a guitar beat that induces a fun back and forth sway. “Someone Else” sets the tone for the album, however. Fun, bright, slightly upbeat songs with equally as upbeat vocals, yet there’s still something bittersweet about it. While this song doesn’t sound particularly sad, “Someone Else” deals with the concept of giving all of yourself to your partner in a relationship. Green literally repeatedly tells herself at the end of the song to “do you,” as if she needed a reminder in the past. Old habits die hard, especially when that habit is taking complete care of someone else in the relationship without receiving anything in return.
Virtual concerts and social media took off during the pandemic (simply because there was nothing else to do). Green sings about this concept in her song “You Don’t Exist,” in which she says, “if I had a million followers, then maybe they would say CG’s so popular.” Yet, she calls out how most of social media is “bullshit,” and she concludes her thoughts with “nothing matters if you don’t exist.” Sometimes, adapting to social media means deleting all of it or, perhaps, not letting it have a hold over you. Not existing on the internet almost seems taboo now, but then again, connecting to real life also seems taboo.
Green continues to talk about relationships in the song, “How Much Should You Love a Husband?.” In the lyrics, she discusses what it’s like to date different types of people, from comedians to lawyers. Either way, it becomes apparent that there is still one question left unanswered. How much work is too much work when it comes to love? Or rather, “How Much Should You Love a Husband?.” She writes that “love is considered a career, more than what you make in a year,” perhaps referencing that she puts in more work to relationships than her former partners.
“I Believe in Love” is a declaration seemingly dedicated to someone in particular. Green speaks her mind about someone she clearly loves, and yet, at the end of the song, the word “love” is not said when she sings out “I believe in.” It’s clear, however, that believing is still enough, even if you can’t find the strength to commit to an “I love you.” The final song on the album (and the best-titled song) is “Pressure to Cum,” a slow but not too slow instrumental that plays out like the end of a warm day easing into the night.
Cool solidifies the idea that it’s never too late to grow up. Perhaps people have waited their entire life to be considered cool. Turns out, “cool” comes to a lot easier the more one accepts themselves. Just ask Colleen Green, she’s the coolest of them all.