One of the best things about music is when a songwriter pens lyrics so profound that they hook your heart before engulfing you in the song’s sound. Brisbane-based singer-songwriter, Paulina, is one of those artists. In her latest single, ‘Lonely Drives’, the songstress tackles the subject of mental health with the lyrical skills of a seasoned writer.
The track itself was produced in a way for Paulina’s vocals to be front and centre. There’s also backing vocals towards the end of each chorus. Haunting, it’s as if Paulina’s thoughts are joining in on the song. Guitars, soft piano keys and a stoic drum work together during the chorus to propel Paulina’s glossy voice along the track, never once overshadowing it. The closing of the song (where the instruments stop playing and Paulina continues to sing) is a standout moment of 'Lonely Drives'. Having Paulina's clear vocals contrast with the silence of the background leaves a lasting impression on the listener. It'd be the perfect song for closing out a TV show just before the credits roll. Outside of that, the instruments are stripped back in the verses to help connect the listener with the song’s lyrics about anxiety.
"'Lonely Drives’ addresses how cruel your mind can be sometimes, how anxious and upset you can often feel and how mad you can be at the world for things not going the preferred or ‘right’ way. However, this song then also expresses the true beauty of simply going on drives, alone. Being alone, is the most beautiful thing you can do, to sit with and acknowledge your feelings, but also to then let go of them and look forward to what’s next in life, in this case, letting yourself go and driving wherever you truly desire.” says Paulina.
While the production and vocals are excellent, the star of the track is Paulina’s lyricism. We’re given gems like ‘I’m faking my smile now’ and ‘I go for a long drive … feels like I can fade from reality / so I do it over and over again.’ There’s an intimacy woven into every word that allows Paulina to reassure herself and the listener that letting go is possible. ‘Lonely Drives’ is emotional and will have you sitting down to digest every lyric from start to finish.