Overgrown by Ivy Sole
Maya Cassady ‘19
I began listening to this album a couple months after it’s September release, and while I stand by my choice of Boygenius’s debut EP, I have regretted not being able to share the wonder that is Ivy Sole. At twenty-five, Ivy Sole characterizes her own music as neo-soul, rap collective, indie music. Born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina, the south has heavily influenced her music and has allowed her gospel roots to abstractly shape her musical narratives. While the music and sampling is absolutely awe-inducing, I‘m a sucker for the lyricism in Overgrown. The entire album is based around second chances. Titled for outgrowing people and bad habits, Sole remarks in an interview with Noisey, “I feel like I’m settling into myself.” I guess that’s why this album continues to resonate so deeply within me.
“Rollercoaster” is probably the most popular song on this album, rightfully so. The beat of the soundtrack goes up and down, mimicking the namesake of the song. And the lyrics dive deep into the feelings of being mistreated and undervalued in relationships under the guise of love. Not only is the song an intricately woven array of rhythm and melody, “Rollercoaster” is a certified bop. I’m always tapping my foot to the beat and find it nearly impossible not to become lost in the builds of the song.
“Achilles” is a narrative of assault, religion, and acceptance all told through simple melodic cadences and syncopated drum lines. Through her lyrical choices, Ivy Sole confronts the societal duplicities of sexual assault in America (“Why won’t anybody listen to me”). In the verses, Ivy Sole outlines trying to find the why for what happened to her (“This religion that I clung to got me looking to the page”), while still coping with what she must do in the wake of her assault (“Blood leaking teaches you to fear being exposed”). But by far the most powerful words spoken are at the end. The lyrics feel almost like a mantra to her future self, and I am always left thinking every time the song ends: “What happened to me isn’t my fault/ But I do know that it’s my responsibility to heal.”
I am always left thinking every time the song ends. As the song ends and instruments fade into white static, Ivy Sole proclaims “What happened to me isn’t my fault/ But I do know that it’s my responsibility to heal” : a mantra spoken for her future self.
This is my last album review for the Woodward Post, so I’m trying to make it short and sweet. I chose Ivy Sole’s album for my final review, because it truly does speak to human experiences. She‘s honest in what she writes and invites listeners to truly empathize with those around her. Also, the fact that she was able to write and record the entire album in a 14 day period has thoroughly shocked me. Anyways, thank you guys for reading so many of these album reviews, and I hope I’ve introduced you to at least something that you enjoy.