abstract adolescent angst and Labrinth's | Teen Ink

abstract adolescent angst and Labrinth's

April 7, 2022
By saralychee SILVER, Sacramento, California
saralychee SILVER, Sacramento, California
9 articles 0 photos 1 comment

Labrinth’s composition for HBO’s Euphoria, “Still Don’t Know My Name,” never ceases to move me. Sometimes it’s tears, other times it’s just dumbfounded, sit and stare at the wall for ten minutes silence. The soulful velvet like quality of the artist’s voice against the clamor of the chaotic vocals are a combination that seems out of this world—too raw but also too ethereal.  Part of the song’s addictive quality is its ability to adapt as a medium for which waves of my emotions can be filtered. The song best exemplifies teenage life bottled up. The soaring highs of the cymbal clashes, shrill whoops and the choir’s belts in the chorus are the intense highs, the taboo passions of teens in their experimental years in a journey of self discovery. As Labrinth repeats “still don’t know my name,” each time more fervently than the last, I feel the ‘euphoria’ almost seep into my soul. Then just as quickly that feeling is yanked away in an abrupt dropoff from the chorus that feels all the more crushing in comparison. From there Labrinth slowly contemplates, ‘wishing’ and ‘missing’ the highs but also dreading the inevitable pains that follow. As he drags his words out, I feel the pain too. It’s like this song is the manifestation of every bit of happiness and sadness I’ve felt throughout the day, almost an eerie Freudian psychoanalysis of sorts. The song is admittedly too much at times in all the synth and roaring bass but the constant commotion is captivating. The rollercoaster of dynamics embodies the emotional turmoil in the life of a teenager, unexpected but always hitting you the hardest—that’s where the resounding chorus drops. It’s an amalgamation of adolescence in the best and worst ways possible. The song reaches past my boundaries and artistic boundaries. Its lyrics and the intent behind them are deep but still simply packaged background noise aside. All the verses build up in one way or another to the same chorus every time yet with each beat drop, the song takes a new meaning,  strikes a new chord. The first verse is tentative but curious, an eagerness that resonates with my pre teenage self. The second verse after the chorus is wistful for simpler times and innocence, even naivety. And the final moments right before the climactic beat drop are where I ugly cry the most. It’s not so much the lyrics, but the slow buildup and roller coaster the song takes the listener on from the beginning. By the end, I feel like I’ve survived adolescence and when the final chorus crescendos, I feel all the emotions build up through the beat drop, rising and falling until I can only lie there. And as I do, stunned and sometimes ugly crying because I know the ride isn’t over, I think about how I ‘still don’t know my name.’ 

Who am I really?

The author's comments:

I wanted to express how music as a medium can truly move you and also to share my appreciation for Labrinth's music. 

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