We live in a world where we are fed information through the internet 24/7 through our social media accounts or news subscriptions. Music, on the other hand, tends to act as a relaxer for people who have experienced high anxiety symptoms. Anxiety pop is done by musicians that are aware of how dire the world is but still have no problem expressing through their music that it is okay.

How are Rina Sawayama and Kim Petras Putting a Twist on Pop Music?

In Petras’s song “All I Do Is Cry,” this is a hypnotic track where listeners get a sense that something is wrong, but it is up to them on whether or not to absorb these lyrics or simply go with the vibe of the music. Sawaryama graduated with a degree in sociology, politics, and psychology and thinks about internet-induced anxiety because that is what she struggles with. She believes it is hard to talk about intense societal problems without sounding “like a Live Aid concert.” The worse society is doing, the more bubbly this pop music becomes and the more we want to escape to it. 

What Do These Anxiety Pop Songs Have in Common?

The common thread of these anxiety pop songs is the irony in them. That even the most mainstream pop songs can have a sense of realism. For example, Petras’s debut album, Clarity, is based around a failed relationship even though she is a pop star. Even though she was opening on tour for singer Troye Sivan, she felt like she was still having a tough personal life. Her song “Broken” is about the depression of a broken heart and “Icy” is about having a hard heart. Even though pop music is known for being boppy and happy, the lyrics can still be deep while the music is still catchy to listen to. 

What Do We Take Out of Anxiety Pop?

It is hard to tell whether these pop stars are using these songs as a way of truly expressing their vulnerability or if they are writing songs about the growing trend of mental illness. Whatever the reason is, these songs can be relatable to a large audience. Since these songs are in the pop genre, that means a large audience will be tuned into them. Strong messages in pop music have the potential to heal and strengthen a very big demographic.

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