It’s incredibly difficult to capture the fragile uncertainty of a relationship that moves too fast – the ambiguity surrounding the other person’s feelings, the qualms regarding the volatility of who you both will be in the future. Somehow, Tate McRae portrays the complexity of all the feelings involved in a mere three minutes. In her latest single, “slower,” Tate opens the track with the brutally relatable lyrics, “Playing cool makes me lose my mind.” Following the soft, echoing instrumental and faint crooning that introduces the track, the 17-year-old singer launches into something simultaneously haunting and melodic. It’s her delicate, aching vocals that steal the show as she delivers lyrics that hit home – brutally hard.
The chorus sounds like falling into oneself, simultaneously climactic and desperate. As she sings, “We could take it slower, wait until we’re older, but I might be somebody, you might not even know her,” she tackles the anguish of growing pains – growing older and growing apart. The vocals build in intensity, ultimately layering over each other and evoking a sense of multidimensionality – all the versions of herself past, present, and future existing at once. The song is mourning a relationship that has barely begun – a million possibilities existing at once. Tender, vulnerable, and painstakingly poignant, Tate McRae’s is on route to be crowned this generation’s queen of breakup ballads.