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Lillian’s Lowdown: Everyone needs to be listening to Chappell Roan

Chappell Roan is a glittery, red-haired superstar. She’s a masterful performer. She’s a midwest princess, a femininomenon, a super ultra graphic modern girl. She’s also pop music’s next big thing.

Roan has been steadily climbing in popularity since the release of Pink Pony Club in 2020, and despite being dropped from Atlantic Records the same year, she’s continued to release a truly impressive lineup of energetic hits. Now, she’s opening for the Olivia Rodrigo GUTS tour and headlining her Midwest Princess Tour this summer (including stops in Ohio). To find out why her music has enraptured thousands, you only need to take a look at her most recent album, “The Rise and Fall of a Midwest Princess.”

The album features countless lively tracks, such as “HOT TO GO!,” which is deeply reminiscent of a cheer routine. Here, Roan is able to capture the bubbly feeling of a crush and bottle it into the perfect dance song, complete with a step-by-step number, where she tells the listener to “snap and clap, now touch your toes/ Raise your hands, now body roll/ Dance it out, you’re hot to go.” This, along with the addictive chanting of H-O-T-T-O-G-O in the chorus, solidifies the song as the ultimate party anthem.

And it doesn’t stop there. The similarly electrifying “Femininomenon” and “Red Wine Supernova” further prove Roan’s endless talent, combining upbeat instrumentals with Roan’s ethereal vocals, which seem equally suited for ballads as it does for fast-paced pop music. Her lilting voice leaves you hanging onto every word and the music itself almost beckons you to start moving.

But it’s not just her voice that makes her so magnetic. Roan’s confidence, personality and unique style make her impossible to forget. She’s drawn a lot of attention from the LGBTQ+ community in particular for the queer themes in her work— most of the songs on “The Rise and Fall of a Midwest Princess” are about gay culture, same-sex crushes and hookups with other women. 

For example, in “Super Ultra Graphic Modern Girl,” she sings about wanting a “super ultra graphic modern girl like me,” and in “Naked in Manhattan,” she describes a high school crush on a girl. Meanwhile, “Casual” and “My Kink is Karma” detail situationships gone wrong, referencing the very specific experience of queer heartbreak while still managing to keep the same vibrant sound consistent with the rest of the album. Perhaps the most tender are “Pink Pony Club,” a very vulnerable, genuine homage to gay clubs inspired by a gay bar in West Hollywood and “Kaleidoscope,” a ballad about a failed relationship. Not to mention Roan’s notable love for drag queens — she often asks local drag queens to open for her shows and even describes her stage persona as a “drag version of [her]self.”

It’s hard not to love her. In addition to her eye-catching fashion and compelling personality, her music has an almost addictive quality to it. If you listen to a Chappell song, expect to be nodding your head to it for the rest of the week. With her ever-increasing popularity and her infinite well of talent, I’m placing my bets on Chappell Roan as the next pop obsession. 

Lillian Barry is a senior studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to share your thoughts? Let Lillian know by tweeting her at @lillianbarry_.

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