“Normal People Things” is the most recent installment in the Lovejoy cinematic universe, as I like to call it. The song, as is the tradition with all Lovejoy songs, is about love and finding belonging and meaning.
Lovejoy has released over 15 songs since the band’s inception in 2021 and is a self-described indie-pop-rock band. These songs vary in meaning and format, some, such as “Concrete” or “Oh Yeah, You Gonna Cry?” are outright petty songs where our protagonist is criticizing and making fun of the antagonist of the song to an upbeat and happy melody; often the protagonist’s girlfriend or the guy she’s cheating on him with. Other songs like “Portrait of a Blank Slate,” “Knee Deep at the ATP,” “You’ll Understand When You’re Older,” and most recently, of course, “Normal People Things” are a lot more personal and down to earth, and typically feature a more solemn and deeper tone.
Despite my relatively recent discovery of this band last July, the impact of their music has been profound. Usually, when I discover a new artist, I have a week or two long phase with them, add their songs to my playlist, and they fade into background songs that don’t have a particular meaning, but that’s something I have yet to experience with Lovejoy and especially with their latest song.
What makes “Normal People Things” (NPT) so remarkable is how similar and different it is to all of Lovejoy’s previous songs; it almost acts as the unifying link to their two different formats of music: roundabout expression, and direct narration. Something else beautiful about it, which can be said for Lovejoy’s other songs, is that the art takes priority over arbitrary quotas. In an interview conducted by the British pop-culture publication NME, lead vocalist Wilbur Soot expressed, “Our writing is always ‘The art first’; the length is entirely down to how long the song needs to be, and that song [NPT] only needed to be two minutes or so. If it had more elements I needed to touch on it would’ve been longer, but I like the simplicity of the subject, and I like the punchiness and explosion of the outcome.”
Lovejoy doesn’t let filler hold it down, and that makes NPT all the more meaningful.
The song opens up intensely, immediately inspiring an intense rush and excited feeling through you before slamming you with lyrics right after. Soot’s voice perfectly matches the tone of the guitar and drums in the background, inscribing a feeling into your mind that makes you want to get up and sing along. The drums between verses make the break more evident before the song breaks into a rush of perfectly synchronized drums and guitars as Soot’s voice soars. The bridge inspires an almost petty, yet fun feeling, as his voice fades into the music and the bass has its moment in the sun. And as the song ends, there’s nothing but a sensation of excitement that rushes through you all the way to the last strum of the guitar.
However, that is not the only special aspect of NPT because it also dives into the reality that many people, including myself, feel deeply: not finding that special someone, not being able to find that person who you can relate to, and feeling like you’re different from society. The song takes us on a journey of the protagonist singing of how he has finally found someone else who seems to match him and his energy, “Oh what a blessing, to meet someone like you, with eyes as dead as mine, it’s fine, it’s normal people things just to lie here in silence […] hold your breath, I’ll make it, worth the wait! Hold your breath, to your chest, and come back and see me, yeah!”
A song like this, despite me having yet to find that special someone, or just anyone like the protagonist is describing, still feels applicable to how I feel about myself. I hang out with plenty of unique and “not normal” people, which I mean sincerely in the best way possible, but I still feel like the odd one out, and that is something excellently represented in NPT and a variety of Lovejoy’s music.
The music has stuck with me. For me, I’ve finally found a band that creates music that is down to earth, and incredibly relatable for teenagers (or maybe just me, I am pretty odd after all), which is astounding to me, and this latest installment in the Lovejoy collection is the crucible of this experience.
Listen to Lovejoy on all major streaming platforms.