Two New New Girlfriend posts in two days, what a treat. It’s almost like the dessert after a delicious dinner. Or…the dessert after a disatrous dinner, perhaps? The kind of dinner where you just have to say UH-OH!
Okay, maybe that was all a bit cheesy. The dynamic duo of Griffin Burns and Kylen Deporter are back with their newest song, UH-OH! and I know I say this often when talking about their music, but I mean it every time; this song sounds completely new and original. All of the songs have the distinct flavor of being a New New Girlfriend song, but they’re all so uniquely different. And this song especially has some special surprises inside.
New New Girlfriend are a master of lyrical storytelling, and this song is a beautiful example of that. Immediately we’re thrown into the scene: a dinner date, but our narrator’s date is being very aggressive. Violent chopping of carrots, squeezing of limes and tenderizing steaks. It’s all very visceral.
The scene is made even more real with the use of well-timed sound effects and asides. It’s brilliant. From the disappointed Deporter “Yeah…” at the very beginning. Moving into the chopping sound effect with the carrots, the the alarm bells going off in his head, ending in the ding of the oven. More Deporter asides with moving the knives.
Then of course, my personal favorite lyric of all time. One that immediately took over my mind: Is that fresh Rosemary and Thyme? I heard this and grinned. This whole song made me grin, honestly. Even though it’s a very serious situation. To have your partner so angry that you’re afraid of her being around knives? Are you guys okay? But that’s part of the cleverness of the songwriting. To take a serious situation and make it a bit lighthearted and silly. It most certainly creates an earworm. I can’t get the chorus out of my head.
So now we come to the part where I overthink the potential story of the song, right? First I would like to pose the question that the New New Girlfriend Patreon Discord server is wondering: What recipe are they even making? Carrots, lime, steak, rosemary, thyme, wine? And what’s the boiling water for? These things don’t really go together. Is that why she’s mad? He’s not paying attention to her to the extent that he’s not even properly noticing what she’s cooking? “Is that Fresh Rosemary and Thyme” being fighting words…is that because it’s not Rosemary and Thyme at all? I think it’s definitely a possibility.
I would be pretty annoyed if I slaved over a hot meal and my partner was so self-absorbed that he completely ignored the food that was set in front of him.
On my 500th listen, I began to think about it in a different way. When I listen to Not Just Anyone, I have a tendency to imagine that Griffin’s parts are external, whereas Kylen’s are the internal dialogue. And initially, I felt like it was the same for this song. With Griffin we have a play-by-play of the entire evening, including the self-reflection. Whereas, Kylen’s parts are self-deprecating and unhelpful. A deadpan “Yeah.” A comment about moving the knives. One nervous “This is…nice…” and then a “COME ON MAN!” during the self-reflection.
But what if it was the opposite? What if in this song, the majority of the song is in his head, and the little asides are what’s being said out loud? Something feels a little off tonight / “You seem kinda quiet, are we alright?” / Yeah that’s probably what I should have said. Our narrator didn’t actually say this. He didn’t say anything to her.
Furthermore, he says She’s chopping carrots just a little bit too harsh and we hear the chopping sound effect. Then An alarm goes off inside my head followed by the alarm sound. He goes on to think about moving the knives, then it’s the aside where we’re actually talking to the partner about moving the knives. The more I think about it, the more it makes sense. No wonder she’s so mad, he’s just zoning out, imagining this horrible situation going on, when all she wanted was to just talk to him. But he’s off composing a diss track…UH-OH! indeed.
This also solves the question posed by the Discord. The recipe makes no sense because he genuinely is not paying any attention to what’s happening around him. We honestly have no guarantee that this dinner that he’s describing is one dinner. Or is it memories of multiples? No wonder though, why a comment about fresh rosemary and thyme is enough to spark a fight. The only words he’s said to her all night are “This is…nice” and then makes a comment about potential herbs? Herbs that might not even be in the dish??? Come on man! (In this potential scenario, it’s a toss-up whether the come on man is to himself, or to her in the heat of the moment).
This song is playful and so much fun. All of the little extra flairs they added make it their most charming song yet. Will we ever know the truth of internal vs external? Will we ever find out what the hell they were having for dinner? No. But we will for sure get to hear more amazing music from our favorite guys soon.
Listen to UH-OH! 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!) I also mentioned the Patreon Discord server in this article. In the server, you will find a great community, many memes, and just a fun time. The Discord is the reason this album art for the song is scared carrots. Definitely recommend joining.