With Taylor Swift releasing her highly anticipated rerecording of Red, I think it’s safe to say we are officially entering a sad girl fall/winter era. It seems like November 12th was the perfect day to open up the years of heartbreak because my favorite and personal pick for the best new artist on the rise, Delaney Bailey, also dropped her very first EP!
Delaney Bailey began to garner a significant following on TikTok in May of 2020 when posting a video on her account asking her followers to leave comments describing the moment they knew they loved someone. Nearly two and a half weeks later, Bailey followed up that Tiktok with a new video, in which she had begun to write a song based on those experiences people shared. Entitled “Loving & Losing,” Bailey’s debut song has now garnered over three million streams on Spotify alone. As a sad music enjoyer myself, I’ll be the first to say that it worked its way into being my top song on Spotify of 2020.
Bailey’s TikTok account has become a holy grail of unreleased snippets of her songwriting, including some early previews of songs that now appear on her debut EP. Since “Loving & Losing,” Bailey has experienced a surge of new fans and followers, with her TikTok follower count at 386.1K upon the release of her new EP, her Instagram follower count at 64K, and her Spotify follower count at 42.5K. She’s even gotten noticed by prominent music artists such as Ricky Montgomery and even Joshua Bassett, who commented “this is absolutely breathtaking” on one of her videos.
Titled This Is About You, Delaney Bailey’s first execution at a multiple-song project gifts us with four perfectly melancholic acoustic melodies that all seem to touch upon the theme of moving on and growing past a toxic relationship.
- “For You”: “For You” was released about a month and a half before the release of the EP, coming out on September 3rd, 2021. As the starting track for the EP describes the feeling of doing everything in your power to appease the person you love, even if it means going to lengths that chip away at your sense of self and self-worth. The chorus is a haunting echo of Bailey crying out that she compromises herself and participates in all these changes of herself “for you.” By the end of the song, the listener can pick up on the feeling of resentment portrayed by the artist that she has to morph into all these things that she is not simply to accommodate the needs and opinions of her partner.
- Favorite lyrics:
- “I’m getting too comfortable in my skin again / Laughing too loudly at my own jokes again”
- “Need to make myself small again / So that I can fit in the palms of your hands”
- Playlist recommendation: Perfect for a playlist about questioning your relationship and wondering if they really are the person for you.
- “Finish Line”: The second track of the EP moves Bailey’s timeline along, now allowing us to experience the end of the relationship and the processing that follows it. The opening lines of the song are, “If this breakup was a race, you’d win by a landslide.” This delves into the theme that, even though the relationship might have been far from perfect and very much toxic based on what we heard in the previous track, Bailey’s ex-partner is taking the breakup much better than she is. He is moving on quickly and “lapping” her, while she is still back at the start line. However, she tries to find comfort and solace in different little details, like from her mom “cheering her on” in the crowd or from stopping and watching the flowers grow.
- Favorite lyrics:
- “You’d lap me and I’d be happy just to see you pass”
- “If this breakup was a race / You’d win by a landslide / I’d be walking laps, babe / To watch the birds fly by”
- Playlist recommendation: Perfect for a playlist about hurting from a breakup but using it to further personal growth and positivity.
- “Just Come Down”: This track seems to reminisce back on the relationship, little pictures of memories that Bailey remembers of her partner. The song touches upon smoking and getting high with his friends, so the purpose of the title “Come Down” could address both Bailey’s pleading with her ex about sobering up in a literal sense and coming down from his high, but also in the metaphorical sense of wanting him to come back to her and pay attention or love her the way he used to. There is a hint of desperation and defeat in watching a lover slip away from you and not being able to do anything about it. Towards the end of the track, it’s like Bailey feels stuck in the smoke and clouds of this seemingly one-sided relationship and wonders if one day someone will be able to experience love that is clear and sobering.
- Favorite lyrics
- “‘Cause best believe that when you’re holding all that smoke in your lungs / The tar that stays in there will be all that you have left of us”
- “Gotta hope somebody loves me enough / To bring me back to earth someday”
- Playlist recommendation: Perfect for a playlist if you are conflicted about whether or not they love you or if they’re falling out of love and you are watching it happen.
- “I Don’t Need You To Survive”: The closing track of this beautifully heartbreaking EP has a sense of finality and closure as the singer learns to move on from someone who she has now accepted as toxic and unwanted in her life. She recognizes that in having to deal with this horrible relationship and dispassionate ex she has come out stronger and has developed a stronger sense of self-worth. The tone takes on a drastic change from the previous track, this one encompassing feelings of bitterness and animosity, where Bailey is hardened in her resolve, rather than the imploring touched upon in “Just Come Down.” It brings a resolute end to the timeline of the relationship, as well as the EP. It is the perfect conclusion to the project and signals hopefully a chance for Bailey to pursue better and greater love.
- Favorite Lyrics:
- “And now I hate that I have to remember you / For so much longer than I knew you”
- “‘Cause all I remember of you is the me that turned out just fine”
- Playlist recommendation: Perfect for a playlist about moving on and building confidence in yourself knowing you made the right choice.
Delaney Bailey has two separate singles outside of This Is About You, the aforementioned “Loving & Losing” and “Coffee Stained Smile” that illustrate similar themes and experiences to those of the EP. If you are a fan of artists like Lizzy McAlpine, Avery Lynch, Leith Ross, Phoebe Bridgers, and Olivia Rodrigo, and enjoy more singer-songwriter/acoustic-y vibes, then I highly encourage you to follow Bailey’s music career. Her journey has only just begun and her lyrics are genuine artistry with every new project and snippet she teases on her social media. If you’re like me and love to sit in your feelings and listen to sad heartbreak songs, this is the place to be.
Delaney Bailey’s Socials:
Spotify: Delaney Bailey
Here’s a playlist for more music like Delaney Bailey’s:https://open.spotify.com/playlist/4TGeLCHiMpTeTD3fr4jy6h?si=32ea483ad4c74600