Written by Hero Magnus

“I don’t need more things / I just wanna talk about it,” sings Sam DeRosa in her newest single, “Baby I Know.” I’m so excited to share this sweet slice of earnest pop with you all.

Sam DeRosa is a Berklee College of Music graduate. Soon after college, she went to one of her first co-writing sessions in New York City and wrote a song called “broken.” Two years later, the song became a viral hit by lovelytheband (“I like that you’re broken / broken like me / maybe that makes me a fool” it begins, sound familiar?).

In 2018, she released her first single, “Hard to Love,” as a solo artist, as well as an acoustic version of the song. She’s still a signed songwriter as well as a musician in her own right. So far, her own songs are much more “bubblegum pop” than the alt-pop sound of “broken.” It means that she’s seen and written all kinds of music with influence from every genre.

As an artist, Sam’s working from an enormous palette from which to choose her own voice as a recording artist. Her songs, so far, indicate a very solid sound, characterized by earnest lyrics, incredibly tight vocal layering, and sparse instrumentation.

“Baby I Know” is an unusual song because the verses are more lush with harmony and instrumentation than the choruses. The choruses include just a touch of electric guitar as she explains what feels off-kilter: “baby I know when you’re lying / it’s in the promises you make / it’s in the words you never say.”

“This song was such an accident. I was doing long distance and knew he was hiding something. I’m the type of person who loves hard, so I knew him enough to know he was hurting and hiding. When I get cloudy in my head, I have to write about it to clear it out. I remember typing into my “notes” app and honestly, it was as if I blacked out and wrote a letter on a page. It was therapy. I went into a session with these words and thought this was going to be a “boy bye / get out if you’re lying” kind of song, but it wasn’t. When I read the words aloud in the room, the tone was so honest. It wound up being this emotional confrontation with my feelings, realizing that I really loved somebody and needed to let them know that wasn’t going to give up that easily.”

– Sam DeRosa

The final chorus of the song is almost completely acapella, with just one line of her soft vocals. This openness lays her feelings bare, making the contrast really strong as she rolls into the cathartic repetition of the final line: “baby I don’t buy it.”

The emotional tone of this song is so sweet. On one hand, she’s calling out her love interest on their bullshit with the verse, “every smile that you fake when denying.” On the other hand, she’s asking for something so simple, just to discuss what’s going wrong when she sings “baby I don’t buy it.” This lyric could be caustic in someone else’s hands, but DeRosa’s delivery makes it sweet. She just wants her love interest to know that she knows that something’s not right and can’t they talk about it?

It reminds me a lot of that song “I Like Me Better” by Lauv, and also “The Middle” by Zedd ft. Maren Morris and Grey. This kind of spare focus on poppy guitar and vocals, with a catchy post-chorus hook, is wildly popular lately.

Sam DeRosa knows what she’s doing, and she knows when you’re lying.

Listen to Sam DeRosa’s “Baby I Know”

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