I first listen to Victoria Reed’s “Same Way” in the car, under a dark and sprawling sky. Mosquitos crackle against the glass. No one else is with me. The song unravels first with synth layers – warm, rising, a gentle warning – and melting vocal riffs, setting the tone of the song in clear terms. It’s wistful, otherworldly, and immediately establishes a sense of mystery and quiet joy to the song. The dreamy opening is punctuated by moody beats, which drop in at the same moment the lyrics kick off:
Do you think I’m strange?/ I don’t blame you/I’m still learning what to do.
The production quality of “Same Way” is instantly recognizable. The lyrics seem to guide the melody as much as the melody guides the lyrics, a balance challenging for any professional. The mixing is catered to show off Reed’s unique cadence; the words tumble out in unique yet natural rhythms, drawing the listener in. Lyrically, “Same Way” seems to be an exploration of self-love, identity, and longing. The narrator grapples with self-understanding, wondering out loud what it means to think about someone and what it means to think about yourself. It also seems to be a reflection of youth and of growing pains, as exemplified in the line, “You learn that the whole world wasn’t made for you.”
You learn that the whole world wasn’t made for you/So it could get me through all that you wanted to/Do you think of me the same way I think of you?/Everyday, I think of you everyday.
I’m particularly fond of this section’s melody. It’s familiar yet cutting, a progression that builds into breathy harmonies midway through the song. No matter who you are, you’ll have a person who comes to mind during this chorus. It’s devastatingly honest, prickling and anxious and true.
Maybe it’s that I’m not strange enough/ I’ve never been brave enough/To simply be myself/Maybe I’m the kind of strange that needs someone to help me see.
Reed’s youth bleeds into the lyrics in a lovely way here. The fear of being yourself is universal, and this sentiment could have easily slipped into a cliché, yet Reed’s unique description of not feeling “strange enough” brings fresh perspective to an old story. We all want to be different. Special. Brave. And we’re all haunted by the fear that deep down, maybe we’re not. The lyrical construction is aided by its layered execution – you get the sense that even in the song’s painful moments, the song itself isn’t advocating for pain, but rather capturing a painful moment in its most distilled form.
If there were a world in which I could swallow what I feel/I cannot tell you if I would want it to be real/If you think of me the same way I think of you/Everyday, I think of you every day.
In another pressing moment of self-love, the narrator celebrates the overwhelming power of emotion, emphasizing that even if she had the chance to give up her ability to feel, she wouldn’t.
After this verse, the song dissolves into the song’s mantra, “I think of you every day,” upheld by haunting voxes that scatter in the background and build a rich, overflowing soundscape. Then, finally, it fades off, wrapping itself into a soft buzz and dissipating.
Victoria Reed’s “Same Way” is a compelling summation of the artist’s brand – mysterious, hopeful, and striking. It’s sad without bitterness, uncertain yet relentlessly strong.