Growing On You /// Ruby Joyce

When you’ve begun to fall for someone, your hope is that they notice you, too. Unfortunately, life is not a fairy tale that does not spare you from the dreaded “friend zone.” Instead, you keep the dream alive until reality tells you otherwise. Plenty of songs have been written about unrequited love, but, dream pop singer-songwriter Ruby Joyce’s latest single, “Growing On You,” is spot on in capturing the essence of being in this limbo.

Instead of swooning endlessly over the target of her affections, Joyce is decidedly moody in her presentation. There’s hints of yearning and desire in her vocals, but it ends up filtered through the haze of a daydream state. It’s the type of abstract vision that conjures up idealized scenarios that you know are out of reach, but they are what keeps the flame alive. It’s not a rosy picture, but it’s taking comfort in what could be.

The aforementioned daydream motif is set in by a shimmering series of chords and an auspicious drum pattern. Together, it creates this aura of head in the clouds, but the ticking drums resemble your inner clock telling you that time is of the essence. It’s a fitting backdrop for being in a maddening state of flux with no escape in sight.

After dreaming of “kissing in the kitchen” to “listening to The Smiths,” Joyce wants to hear him ask “can I put forever on my wish list?” It’s a relatable, down to Earth fantasy that culminates in a rom-com style turn of phrase. While she hopes that she is “growing” on him “like a terrace full of vine,” self-doubt is around the corner. Questioning herself about being “too much” or “not enough,” is a relatable conclusion to come to when entering this all too familiar territory of seeking the love of another.

With “Growing On You,” Joyce brings to life the inner strife of unrequited love. Many have tackled this theme from endless perspectives. Here, Joyce keeps it simple by keeping her fantasy grounded, but with a smidgen of blue sky optimism. “Growing On You” is the real deal, even if the apple of Joyce’s eye doesn’t even know it, yet. 

Written by Travis Boyer

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