Royal & The Serpent are genuinely one of the most exciting artists to breakthrough from TikTok in the past 12 months. ‘Overwhelmed’ was an absolute anthem of 2020, and captured listeners with its unusual and gripping distorted production. It was a very theatrical sound that immediately captured your attention and had you actively wanting to discover the rest of their alt-pop discography. And the New Jersey singer-songwriter has successfully backed it up with the bold and visually charged ‘i can’t get high’.
Packed with so many incredible and interesting production choices, this song is designed to be consumed multiple times for you to really appreciate and acknowledge the art of layering they’ve perfected. Beginning in a Melanie Martinez influenced soundscape the song transforms into this angsty guitar and drum led direction which is immediately so captivating. And then you add in lighter sounds and glitchy distortion for good measure, and it just masters the capturing of range so well.
Reflecting on addiction, she acknowledges how nothing helps the constant craving and numbness that occurs. Even when she’s high she still feels depressed which is the whole feeling she’s trying to overcome by taking drugs. “Cause anything is better than coming, coming down” she sings before also admitting “Goddamn, it hurts like hell. I must be past the point of no return. All this medication only makes it worse”.
‘i can’t get high’ is a phenomenally written and produced song that really highlights Royal & The Serpent as an artist you need to keep an eye on. The contrasting that these songs have embodied is impressive and something a lot of artists are going to be referencing as influences over the next year.