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Meaningful lyrics for quarter-life-crisis vibes

Sable - Team (2021 Sable)

The transition from being a teenager to becoming a young adult is complicated. The media portrays our 20s as a club-dazed, alcohol-fuelled, densely-populated frenzy brimming with fun and adventure. Parts of this can be true, but it’s also a scary, lonely time period for many: one where we are forced to watch friendships and relationships alter and break down; one where being hurt is an inevitability and being happy seems like a fantasy we are desperately trying to grasp at. And if there’s any artist who can show what it’s really like to be young in a world full of opportunity and devastation, it’s Sable.

In the electronic artist’s own words, her upcoming EP, Kitchen Sink, “captures the full scope of being 23: madly in love with the world, and deeply angry at its flaws.” Her new single, ‘Team’, is a perfect representation of this core theme - and it hit me. Hard.

Recorded during the Christmas holidays whilst travel restrictions kept her away from her loved ones, ‘Team’ sees Sable reflecting on what she’s grateful for, and packaging these emotions into four minutes of delicate, unfiltered turmoil. It is a song that explores how human emotions can be both complex and straightforward, contradictory and yet easily combined. Sable explores this nuance of feeling by showing us that losing friendships is sad, making new friends is joyous, but in between these simplicities lies a remembrance of a past self, so that new emotions are tainted with reflections of what was once felt. Uplifting yet heart wrenching, Sable manages to copy and paste the perplexed thoughts of all adults in their 20s directly into her music.

Sonically, ‘Team’ is just as brilliant. Something I’ve had to come to terms with when listening to Sable is that it’s hard to pinpoint that one shining aspect of her music that stands out above all else. Everything is spot on. She consistently uses sound to her advantage, perfectly shaping and manipulating it, resulting in a magical sonic showcase of both joy and pain that can miraculously be danced to.

Still, Sable’s voice in ‘Team’ is most certainly one of its highlights. Her powerful vocals are given the spotlight they deserve in this song, with its production strategically filtering them against a backdrop of heavy electronic beats. Rich, smooth and expressive, these vocals breathe heart and soul into the post-dub genre, and may leave you shamelessly crying on the dancefloor.

A track full of meaning and feeling, Sable’s newest release is one hell of a single release, and one I know I will keep coming back to. Meaningful lyrics allow the listener to travel all the way from heartache to happiness, developing the song’s overriding message that things can get better, and they will. It is this welcome reminder that makes ‘Team’ an inviting, beautiful track, as well as one that bears revisiting. Whether I’m feeling happy or sad, nostalgic or hopeful, I know Sable will be there to make me feel understood.


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Sable: Instagram / Spotify / Soundcloud


Olive Annalise is a music production student from Bristol whose interests include poetry, sound design and film. In her spare time, she indulges in wine mom humour and enjoys telling people she can speak French, although her Duolingo owl would disagree.

This article was edited by Ainhoa Santos Goicoechea (pronounced "I-know-ah"), a culturally confused Creative Writing postgraduate student from the Basque Country, Spain. She is passionate about film, music and politics, and she should probably know more than she does about all three. Thanks for reading! Slow Motion Panic Masters is a music, arts and culture blog created and edited by Ben Wheadon, a literature student and musician based at the University of Oxford. He is also a Fleet Foxes shill.

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