After releasing a handful of songs together, glaive and ericdoa finally collaborated on an official EP, something fans of the two artists have been anticipating since their first song together, “cloak n dagger,” in January of this year. On Oct. 6, 2021, ericdoa and glaive released the eight-track EP then i’ll be happy on Spotify.
The first track, “naturale,” eases listeners in with glaive’s soft voice, which gracefully overlays the calm instrumental. The lyrics of the song prepare us for the overall message: pining over a love interest that cannot be bothered, and the mental effects of broken relationships and unrequited love.
Following “naturale” is “mental anguish,” which borrows the echoing end of “naturale” to smoothly transition into a song with a slightly harsher beat, but the same soft tone of glaive’s voice. We also hear ericdoa more often in this song, as glaive sang the majority of “naturale.” The two share the chorus of “mental anguish,” which, if you had not listened to glaive and ericdoa before, introduces you to just how well their voices pair. Their harmonization pairs well with the most memorable lyrics of the song: “I was really in mental anguish / now you’re speaking my language / now you’re acting all passive / treating me like I’m baggage.” This song highlights more of the emotional struggles that come with teenage love life as an extension of “naturale.”
Arguably, the third track, “heather” really kicks off the EP, leaving “naturale” and “mental anguish” as calmer, introductory songs. I’m currently drawn to “heather” as my favorite song from the duo — between the lyrical description of an overly-demanding love interest and their annoyed, burnt out lover, and the upbeat tempo paired with the stable, steady voices of glaive and ericdoa. The song is actually a call to Conan Gray’s “Heather,” with lyrics that mirror the 2020 song: “‘cause I’ve never been better, I gave that bitch Astrid my sweater / but I bought another and gave it to Heather.” The ‘Astrid’ callout is a reference to another song, this one belonging to glaive; “astrid” is known amongst glaive songs as his breakthrough, as it was his most popular song for quite a while before his release of all dogs go to heaven.
The only competition “heather” has for my favorite song from the EP immediately follows the third track: “pretending.” This song is also very upbeat, and features a fantastic balance between glaive and ericdoa’s individual verses. Though, glaive really shines in this song, for he harmonizes with himself at a few points throughout the song — something he does quite often in his solo music. His deeper singing tone, usually hidden in his solo songs, is very soothing to listen to, especially when paired with lyrics that carry such heavy emotion: i.e. the chorus, “I don’t wanna stay stuck on pretending / can’t get you out my head when you’re in my mentions / oh, oh, you bring out the best in me / whenever you’re next to me / feel like I’m buried deep.”
Track five, “physs,” is lyrically the most spiteful and vulgar song on the album, paired with harsh beats that just sound angry. This track is well-crafted, matching the beat with glaive’s angry lyrics: “all the time, I mean all the time / don’t you fucking lie, you fuck my mind / don’t you fucking try, you fucking cunt / I was fucking right.” Often, in hyperpop, and particularly in glaive’s solo songs, the beat is very uppity and catchy, while the lyrics address anger, depression, betrayal, and other very intense topics and emotions. Granted, “physs” is still a song to dance around your room to, but it is harsh enough to also match the angry, swear-filled lyrics.
The sixth track, “handle me,” is explicitly about neglect in a relationship. The previous songs did not have as much context about what exactly had ericdoa and glaive so upset, but the love interest in “handle me” is consistently blowing them off and being hot and cold. The lyrics of “handle me” are far less angry than the middle tracks, and, paired with the softer tune, almost sound sad and hopeless. This applies especially to ericdoa’s lyrics: “this shit you say got no meanin’, I got no God to believe in / she change her mood every season, I’m having trouble believin’.”
The EP wraps up with two songs that glaive and ericdoa fans have heard before: “cloak n dagger,” initially released as a single on Jan. 21, 2021, and “fuck this town,” also released as a single on July 9, 2021. It was these two singles that started it all; both came with music videos and dozens of comments begging the two to collaborate again, or start a music project together.
The wait was definitely worth it; all eight songs on the album are incredible. If you are new to ericdoa, glaive, or hyperpop as a whole, this album is a great place to start. I will be honest and say that the songs skew a little more towards glaive’s style, so it is not the perfect introduction to ericdoa’s music, but it’s still a good one!
The much-anticipated then i’ll be happy is currently available on Apple Music, Spotify, and even YouTube, if you want to give it a listen.
Featured Image: Courtesy of DORK.