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For Ella Rosa, The Toxic Self is "Not Cute"

Today, British artist Ella Rosa released her fourth single of the year, "Not Cute." Unlike her last release, "WAIT, DANCE" which leans more towards pop, "Not Cute" goes back to Rosa’s more familiar R&B sound.

"The pressure’s not cute," bemoans Ella Rosa in the song. While the repetition of the lyric "Waiting for you" could lead a listener to believe that it’s a song about a toxic relationship between two people, Rosa takes a page from Mitski’s book and instead talks about herself and her artistry. In Ella Rosa’s words, "I wrote the song about the pressure I had put on myself and how impatient I was getting while trying to 'figure out' where my artistry lies." It’s a complex experience to write about with a lot of depth, but it never feels that way for the listener.

The production of "Not Cute" layers dreamy synths and moderately paced percussion to create a cozy, comforting soundscape that sets the stage for Ella Rosa’s rich vocals. Together, they create a soulful nocturne. It’s the perfect playlist addition for any R&B fan, managing to meld with other songs in the genre but with Ella Rosa possessing a fine mastery of craft that allows her to stand out from the bunch.

Watch the music video for "Not Cute" here:


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