The masters of earworms and harmonies are back. Los Angeles duo New New Girlfriend’s latest song is one that is impossible to only listen to once. Things That Go Without Saying is the newest in the band’s lineup of songs that tell stories. It’s a glorious pop punk vibe that, like their other songs, and specifically Not Just Anyone, sinks its claws in deep and doesn’t let go. Even though it’s the shortest of their songs, clocking in at 2:30, I’d venture to say that it’s their most impactful, both in sound and in story.
Things that Go Without Saying opens up in the middle of a story. We’re given a ‘she’ and we just have to roll with it. No time to ponder who, why or if she’s Just Anyone, but we’ll get to that later. As the song goes on, and we continue to learn about her, we’re told that our narrator “just loves her”. And again, we just roll with it. Of course he loves her. Didn’t you hear how cool she sounds?
But as these delicious harmonies—seriously they’re so good. Kylen and Griffin’s voices were made for each other—go on, things start to unravel. The only thing we get about her personality is that: thrifts her clothes but isn’t pretentious, lends an ear to the narrator’s worst first world problems, and likes to sing along to all of his songs. Everything else we hear is about her looks. But he just loves her, trust.
There’s a really interesting trait that some of New New Girlfriend’s songs have, it’s especially noticeable in this song and the previous, but it is there in a few of the older ones if you look for it (Save the Date and Got Enough are two great examples). And that’s a complete tonal shift in the later half, it serves to shift the perspective from whatever the narrator is dealing with external to what he’s feeling internally.
In this song, once that change hits, we start to wonder is it love? Does he even like her? And if I don’t say it enough / It’s not a game I’m playing / It’s at the top of my list of / Things that go without saying. This feels like there’s problems in this relationship. And that “I just love her” is more of a mantra to himself rather than a true confession of love. And what is it that they always say about repeated lines in songs? The more it’s said, the less it’s true.
This is even more evident at the very end when the line “If I don’t say it…” is competing with the repeated, and almost more frantic “I just love her! I just love her!” Ending with “If I don’t say it enough…” almost seems like an omen. What happens if you don’t say it enough?
With how Not Just Anyone and Things That Go Without Saying are going, we’re on our way to a full New New Girlfriend saga, and I’m here for it. The storytelling in these songs is solid and I’m so stoked to see what the next song will bring.
Listen to Things that Go Without Saying below.
If you love New New Girlfriend like I do, consider checking out their Patreon to help them keep making new songs like this one. (I was not asked to include this, or compensated for doing so. I just really love their work and want them to succeed!)