While Caitlin Norris is best known as the drummer and co-lyricist for alt-pop and rock outfit Tether, her new track Honey is a debut with fellow artist Lo, that’s stripped-bare, raw and vulnerable. Showcasing her strengths as a songwriter, Norris’ intimate track has few instruments, giving an all-consuming focus on the pain experienced after an unexpected breakup.
Honey is Norris’s latest collaboration with Lo, an artist who went on to amass over half a million streams and spins on both national and international radio after the release of her debut single Floating. Lo’s haunting vocals fill the song with heartache, her voice bleeding from a painful open wound. Norris’ lyrics are intimate and honest, with Lo intensifying this emotion, sounding more like she’s singing in your living room and crying on your shoulder.
Reminiscent of artists like Daughter and Little May, Honey is an indie-folk song recorded in Lo’s bedroom, the lo-fi sound exemplifying the intimacy that, ironically, the speaker seems to be lacking. The yearning in the song makes it intimate, but there is also a feeling of resignation and hopelessness, with Lo singing “I reach out my hands and I feel dead air.” Backup vocals also echo this pain, making it sound like the invasive thoughts that haunt the song are repeating on themselves; “oh, I’m not needed here/ oh, you don’t need me here.”
The lack of significant variation in the key and tonal range of the song further draws out the speaker’s suffering. No one moment is more important than the others; instead, they bleed into each other, forming a mess of desperation and loneliness as the speaker tries to reconcile their life. The tempo is also consistent, slowing only when the speaker is lingering on a memory of the one she’s lost. While Norris might struggle to find mainstream appeal as a result of this lack of variation, especially among more casual listeners, the depth of the song, in all its simplicity, speaks of a deep, universal truth everyone can relate to; that of the completely isolating experience of heartbreak.