Heat Wave: Deconstruction

Sophia Shen

Fine, I’ll admit it – my original track isn’t completely self-made… but neither are most songs out there. The main goal of the global art community is to share art pieces and to inspire other artists to create, so it makes sense that we all borrow and give some key elements among one another. I’ve curated a playlist of my most notable/identifiable inspirations for Heat Wave (both the column and my song), in the hopes that you will be able to A) get a sense for what my final product will sound like once it’s released, and B) appreciate the masterful artists whose work helped me shape my own creation. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and these musicians deserve the utmost reverence.

Rafiki who?

Here’s a breakdown of my playlist, and a rough list of the traits that I was inspired by/borrowed from each song.

  • Heat Wave – Snail Mail
    • Title
  • The Agency Group – Alvvays
    • General vibe and sound of the effects
    • The style of the bridge
  • The Body Is a Blade – Japanese Breakfast
    • Arpeggiated chords
  • Ones Who Love You – Alvvays
    • Bass line
  • Speaking Terms – Snail Mail
    • Percussion
  • Archie, Marry Me – Alvvays
    • Usage of stereo pairing
  • White Flag (Jay Som cover) – Dido
    • Intro chords
  • lovely – Billie Eilish and Khalid
    • Usage of strings in the intro
  • It’s All in Vain – Wet
    • Occasional high notes
I’m baby

Writing my own music has taught me to listen more carefully to the instruments that I hear in the background of each of these songs. I have so much more appreciation and respect for these artists now that I know how much work and creativity and perseverance it takes to put together something that other people can enjoy. As you listen to this playlist, try to pick up on multiple parts that you might not have noticed before: the bass line or a guitar harmony, for example. Happy jamming, and I’ll see you in my next post!

See “I Bet on Losing Dogs” by Mitski for more baby content


p/c: Michelle Ton