Release Date: March 12th 2023
Reviewed by: Jonathan Andre
Rachel Platten– Girls (Single) (Amazon mp3/iTunes)
Rachel Platten has always been an artist I’ve admired since her debut breakout powerful radio single “Fight Song”. Since 2015, both my brother Jon and myself have been impressed, immersed in, and excited about every single release of hers- her album Wildfire was even the first ‘mainstream’ album we as a site reviewed (you can read it here), and we as a site went on to review Waves as well. I also dived deep into Rachel’s art and music as part of my own top 50 Up-and-Coming artists list (of which can be seen and read here). Jon reviewed Rachel’s debut independent single “Soldiers” in 2020; and all in all, this emotive and powerful singer has been a breath of fresh air, reminding us all that you don’t necessarily have to be as popular as Ed Sheeran or Taylor Swift or Justin Bieber, to make something that matters. Rachel’s fame and popularity will always come back to “Fight Song” rightly or wrongly. And unfortunately, or even fortunately, “Fight Song” will be the song that Rachel will be remembered for, at the end of the day. But after 2 and a half years of radio silence, Rachel is back. “Girls” released this past week, and regardless of if this song is part of a bigger unreleased project or not, the song speaks volumes about the love Rachel has for her daughters in light of Mother’s Day. It’s a beautiful and emotional track, and one that is a standout in this year so far.
It was really important to me to get to send a message to my daughters, mark this period of time and let them know how I was feeling, how important [they are] and how much love I have for them. I was really missing them when I was going off to the studio because my baby was just 3 months when I started doing sessions again. Sometimes songs feel like they come out of the sky, like a little star I grab. This one came almost pre-written. It was almost like it was revealing itself as I played.
I was trying to explain to her [my daughter Violet] why I’ve been busy lately. I just took a trip and I’ve been gone and I’m going to be gone more. Of course, the mom guilt comes, but we lay together in her bed and we talk about it deeply. I tell Violet, ‘Mommy’s going to release your song now. Mommy’s going to go out into the world and share your song with the world. Is that okay?’ And she said, ‘That’s okay.’ She said, ‘Okay, mommy. It’s a good song.’ I think that they don’t get it yet, but they will, and I think they’ll be really proud to have their own song.
Anything is possible. I know that there’s a lot of doors that we have to kick down and ceilings to break, and there’s obstacles in our way. Not just for women, for all humanity, but I think especially for girls and women right now. When I think about my girls in the world that I’m bringing them into, it can be scary to think about social media, and the way that they’re going to think that they need to look or act or dress or talk or change themselves or dull themselves or hold themselves back.
I think no one told me that there would always be that mom guilt. You hear it, but you don’t know what it feels like until you experience it, and it is really heartbreaking. You could be off doing the most selfless thing for your family. I’m here working not just for me, but to support my family, and yet my heart is heavy because I feel like I’m choosing this over them. Even though I know that’s not true.
I feel so proud of myself for getting out of the hardest thing I’ve ever been through and for finding light again. Even if the music that I’ve made, which I think will reach the whole entire world, but even if it didn’t, I am so proud of myself for being brave and getting back out there. That’s what I want my daughters to know, that you can overcome anything.
As a male, I don’t even want to pretend to understand postpartum depression. It’s probably one of the most harrowing things in the whole world. But with Rachel, who had (has?) the condition for the past while; “Girls” is her way of dealing with it and of singing what she is feeling. Rachel has a new album releasing sometime this year or next year. But whenever it releases, or even if it does get delayed, there’s still something special and beautiful about this song. “Girls” is directed to her two daughters, and as Rachel vibrantly outlines that she hopes her girls will one day ‘…hope you always know your worth, though I know that life can hurt, hope you know that you can turn to each other, hope you learn to trust your voice, make mistakes and make some noise, hope you never lose your joy or your hunger…’, we are encouraged to be in communion and relationships with people and we are encouraged to also be inspired by what we see in life. We are encouraged to live life to the fullest and to always be present in the present, and as Rachel sings about the beauties of life and about how young people and especially young women can reach the stars and can do anything they set their mind to; we are encouraged also to be active in the things we want to do in life. So many of us wish our weeks away and live for the weekend, and so many of us coast along- and that’s not a smart way to live. With Rachel Platten’s song being an advocate to actively making a difference in the world; “Girls” is a must listen if you feel down in the dumps and need and pick-me-up. And no, the song it’s just for girls, unlike the title. Well done, Rachel. I don’t know what the future holds for you. But I’m so very eager to find out!
I feel like I have the best secret in the world. I’ve made the best music of my life. I think it’s like my Tapestry by Carole King. It’s my opus. It’s truly my life story. It’s almost the introduction to the world. Because ‘Fight Song’ is just a little piece of me, and the world knew me from that, but they didn’t even. This album really introduces all of me. It almost talks about my journey from dark to light and the hero’s journey. I am so excited for the world to hear it.
RIYL: Tori Kelly, Britt Nicole, Blanca, Cimorelli, Taylor Swift, Colbie Caillat