British rising pop star, Baby Queen, has released her second single of 2021 and her most vulnerable track to date. “These Drugs” is a brave admission of the toxic behavior of using substances to hide one’s struggle with mental health. Baby Queen, otherwise known as Bella, credits the song and music video as her favorite project she’s ever put out. It’s one of the hardest songs for an artist like Baby Queen to release since it highlights struggles that are hard to admit even to one’s self.
“These Drugs” is a dark pop track, with a complementary guitar strum throughout. The highlight of the track is undeniably the candid songwriting and Baby Queen’s heavy emotions shown through raw vocals. The first verse chronicles the shame and urge to stop self-sabotaging under the guise of escapism. The metaphors she uses to describe this phenomenon are visual and beautifully eerie, while still valuing honesty over romanticization.
The chorus is simple yet powerful, revealing the titular lyric, “Every time I take these drugs to pick me up // All I ever do is cry,” which perfectly sums up the core internal battle explored throughout the track. The bridge is a definite standout moment, in which Baby Queen completely opens up and drops all defenses. The track slows down, giving full attention to the lyrics and making it feel like the moment of true confession, without any metaphors or embellishments.
The music video couldn’t be more true to the message and energy of “These Drugs,” which makes sense considering Bella (aka Baby Queen) came up with the concept herself. The visuals are deeply personal, seemingly inspired by real-life experiences of blurred vision and grimy club bathrooms. Experiencing the track come to life makes it feel even more personal, revealing and impactful for those who can relate.
Although a song like “These Drugs” is scary for an artist to release due to its exposed nature, knowing listeners can feel empowered and not alone is a beautiful payoff. In an Instagram post, Bella penned, “It’s been so f*cking incredible reading the messages you’ve sent me about your experiences and the different ways you’ve been able to relate to the song.” For an artist who is so close to their growing fanbase and communicates with them regularly, it’s powerful for a song like “These Drugs” to be a common thread between the two parties and is sure to make the bond even stronger. Overall, “These Drugs” is a triumph of honesty and strength. Baby Queen is proving with each track that her artistry is special, authentic and consequential to the current generation of young people. We can’t wait to see what she puts out next!
Featured Image: Polydor Records