There are hints of something great in “I Can’t Get Away,” the new single from 22-year-old Konner (normally stylized in all-lower-case, as is now customary for Gen Z indie pop artists). His chillest single yet, it rides on low-key verses that build into a lush, synth-backed chorus. On a positive note, it shows a Konner willing to move in and out of different pop sounds, migrating from the dance-y guitar pop of previous single “Your Place” to the more ambient tones present on this track. However, it left me wanting just a bit more.
Though it’s ostensibly a break up song, there’s an undercurrent of self-doubt and loneliness in the lyrics that make it feel more existential than a pure break up track tends to be. The verses accompany this theme quite well; they’re simple and down-tempo, evoking a melancholy mood. The chorus dips more directly into synth-pop, with a melodic, high-pitched synthline coming in to compliment Konner’s vocals. It turns the track into a more hopeful-sounding affair, which is great at the end of the track, but leaves things feeling just a bit tonally uneven as we dip back into another verse in the middle of the song.
With all of that in mind, Konner is still a good songwriter. It doesn’t quite reach the heights of his last three singles, but perhaps that isn’t the point. It shows a different side of Konner; one that’s able to reflect and croon over a low-key beat. His warm vocals compliment the track perfectly. The ride is pleasantly mournful, if such a thing exists. It’s Konner’s first ballad and, as first ballads go, it’s a success that still manages to fit within the wheelhouse he’s established for himself. Whether he chooses to continue down this ambient path or not, it shows promise.
McKinzie Smith is a former film student from Portland, OR. In her adolescence, she followed Fall Out Boy up and down the West Coast. She now considers herself very cool and normal and only a little bit emo. She now spends most of her time listening to Charli XCX in her kitchen and writing articles about things she likes.