Sometimes, when moving to a new location, you’ll find that you change in order to fit in. Whether that be moving schools, jobs, or just the area in which you live, it’s almost as if changing who you are is the easiest path to success. However, at the end of the day when you’re alone again, you might reflect upon how you aren’t being true to yourself in the hopes of being liked by others. It’s one of those short-term success things, in my opinion, as it is hardly ever sustainable. From an outside perspective, we have the opportunity to see this firsthand with Rosehip Teahouse’s song, “A Million Times.”
From the beginning, this song’s sound brings back memories of alternative bands from the early to mid-2000s. Off the top of my head, early Coldplay comes to mind, as well as the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Over a simple drum pattern, a crunchy sounding guitar plays a lead part which leads you into the first verse of the song. Singer Faye Rogers’ voice immediately takes its seat in your ears, pulling you into the emotionally driven story she begins to tell. With nothing but a guitar accompanying her, she sings, “Figuring out what it means to use space / I guess I’ll just hide again.” I believe that in this context, she is referring to the space between people, especially that which is needed in a healthy relationship. As more instruments join the track, including a lead guitar and tambourine, Rogers gives more insight into her situation, “But this silence does nothing for me / Unless you’re there to share the tension / And even then, I try my best to fill it up.” Setting up her expectations of “space,” we learn that while she always wants to be together, her anxieties are also eating away at her, “Cause I’m all teeth and panic, will I ever be enough?”
Moving into the chorus of the song, the instruments all take a step up, becoming more prominent. With the drums and bass now fully introduced, everything begins to move along more quickly. Rogers begins singing in a melody which moves around more than it did in the verses, which is welcome, as she admits her personal undoings, “I don’t know what it is that you need / And it scares me to think that I’d reshape myself a million times to work it out.” Combining this with what we learned in the first verse, we can see that Rogers has become attached to the point that she will do anything to keep this person in her life, including changing who she is for them. Continuing, she sings, “Oh, I’d love to lose myself / I doubt you’d change for anyone / But I still change for everyone.” Playing more into her anxieties and insecurities, she admits that she would rather be whoever it is others want her to be, yet, the person who she wants the most is confident and would never do that for her.
Entering the next verse of the song, the instruments get a chance to shine on their own for a few seconds before they quiet down to become a backdrop for the vocals again. Although following a similar theme in lyrics, Rogers does begin to realize the effect her feelings may have on those around here, “I’ll start to swallow these feelings / I know they’re too much to take.” Resigning to just internalizing everything, she continues, “And I know you didn’t ask for this / But I didn’t mean to be like this.” Although she states her resignation, she also makes it known that while she is aware of any trouble she may have caused, it was never intentional. The song re-enters the chorus, and then fades out with a single guitar chord ringing. Through its sound and delivery, the track provides a clearly vulnerable look into the mind of singer/songwriter Faye Rogers. While it’s never easy to cohesively channel your anxieties and insecurities into a successful song, it is clear that Rosehip Teahouse has succeeded in doing so with this track.