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Music Notes: Wolf Alice created a perfectly chaotic love song

Many of us have had a debilitating crush or two, the kind you simply can't shake out of your system for days on end. The feeling seems to overtake your stream of consciousness, and the fear and anxiety of losing them reaches an all-time high.

Luckily, there's a song for this kind of situation discussed in this week's "Music Notes.” "Don't Delete The Kisses" comes off Wolf Alice's 2017 album, "Visions Of A Life." Although its origins span seven years, its meaning and significance in the pop-punk genre are everlasting.

Unlike many of Wolf Alice's upbeat, rambunctious punk tunes, this track differs in sound completely. Using a variety of synths and spoken word, it feels much more intimate and diaristic, which makes sense when coming from lead singer Ellie Rowsell. Through using this approach, the band creates a song that feels like you're in the actual recording session with Rowsell, a rarity in many of today's modern love songs.

The track opens with a dizzying array of synths and quiet guitar strumming, with Rowsell's voice smoothly coming to the forefront. The opening lines are interesting in that she completely doubts her ability to open up to the person she loves, saying, "I see the signs of a lifetime, you 'till I die / And I'm swiftly out, Irish goodbye / What if it's not meant for me? Love." Her grave tone turns to a shout at the end of this pre-chorus, as you can feel her frustration bubble up and burst. 

Frustration is the central tone of this song. Rowsell wants listeners to understand how annoying it is to fall in love, especially for more introverted people who struggle to communicate their feelings. A common experience many face when they finally think they have a connection with someone, the song changes completely as the band moves into a spoken word confession.

Rowsell says, "I'd like to get to know you / I'd like to take you out / We'd go to The Hail Mary / And afterwards make out instead I'm typing you a message," shifting away from her inner fantasy to the reality of her situation. This part of this song is extremely interesting, as the singer moves back and forth from what she wants to what is actually happening, making her unreliability as a narrator relatable.

She continues to admit how much of a coward she is, not wanting to ruin the relationship she's worked so hard to build. Lyrics such as, "When I see you, the whole world reduces / To just that room / And then I remember and I'm shy that gossip's eye will look too soon / And then I'm trapped, overthinking," exemplify the fear of being caught red-handed, and Rowsell would rather distance herself than let her heart make decisions for her.

Rowsell's voice turns frantic at the end of this section of the track, symbolizing her anxiety about not saying what’s truly on her mind. Falling into delusion after drinking too much, she tries to justify that maybe she's not really in love, but listeners know that the singer has already revealed too much about her undying passion for someone else.

The chorus comes back again, the same repetitive question of "What if it's not meant for me?" and then the song slowly signals its end with another monologue from Rowsell. It seems that a few days have passed, and her feelings for this person have only grown stronger. 

She says, "I wanna tell the whole world about you / I think that that's a sign / I'm losing self control and it's you / It really is, one thousand times," spilling more of her thoughts out to listeners. At this moment, the background production begins to fade and Rowsell's hums grow softer. This slow fade out imitates the haze of being in love, fully unaware of anything else but that person.

Finally, Rowsell just allows herself to take action and make the first move on the person she likes, and it's a heartfelt way to end "Don't Delete The Kisses." She then changes her whole perspective, shifting into a positive outlook on her future with this person.

The ending lines read, "Me and you were meant to be in love / Me and you / I see the signs of a lifetime, you 'till I die," and this time listeners can truly believe this sentiment. After a rollercoaster of emotions and monologues that Rowsell uses on purpose to confuse and intrigue listeners, this is the perfect end to a chaotic love song.


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