““Playing it Cool” by Nykki is one of those pop songs that feels like eating candy. It’s pretty much universally catchy and easy to enjoy. Even so, if you know anything about creating a piece of music like this from scratch, you know this takes some serious skill to achieve. It takes a natural knack for melody, vocals, and arrangement, as well as some serious attention to detail production-wise. This song has it all. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the pristine energy of this elegantly delectable track.
The song begins with a bright, punchy guitar riff and some warped background noise. You can faintly hear one of the chorus motifs through the noise, a pleasant little glimpse into the future. Nykki suddenly chimes, “I want that kind of movie love,” as a sprightly bass line swerves through the accompaniment. She details examples of this expressive romance that she imagines for herself–the kind that feels like it only happens in fiction.
The pre-chorus makes use of a simple drum groove to propel us into the chorus, which, appears with a flourish of rhythms, harmonies, and various textural elements. As the sound becomes increasingly fuller, the captivating, melodious atmosphere thickens. Nykki sprinkles in the perfect amount of repetition and new phrasing, giving the melody a satisfying arc. It’s the perfect pop chorus.
If you want to know how the rest of it goes, you ought to just listen to it! It’s a fantastic song suited for any music-lover–and while you’re at it, check out the rest of Nykki’s discography as well!
Written by Alyce lindberg