“Never Again” by Bella Kaye is a pop-rock anthem with a fascinating chord structure. Bella’s classic, catchy melodies float over dark, edgy power chords creating a rather unique atmosphere. Something about it feels different than you expect. It’s produced like a pop song. It’s sung like a pop song. But its musical elements are distinctly and undeniably alt-rock.
The intro is a brief collection of chunky guitar chords with a grungy, modal sound. Bella comes in condemning the careless, lazy behavior of a love interest over these pithy electronic drum samples. Then, a hit-driven pre-chorus enters with the line: “You said I’ll never find someone like you, / But that’s kind of the point.” It’s ironic. It’s brazen. It’s even a little bit funny. We’re left to let this line stew for all of one second before the chorus comes careening in with an entirely new feel. Acoustic guitars cut through the mix, strumming a busy rhythm. The drums take on a more live, pop-punk groove, and the electric guitars play a high-pitched lead line. The change in atmosphere is sort of jarring but undoubtedly effective. It has the same energy as “good 4 u” by Olivia Rodrigo, complete with sudden bursts of liveliness amidst quieter, more docile verses.
If you’ve felt delighted by this recent revival of mainstream rock music, you’ll definitely like “Never Again.” It’s charmingly audacious, masterfully produced, and overall an enjoyable listen. Bella Kaye is on her way to satisfying the market for angsty, irreverent pop bangers.
Written by Alyce lindberg