Critics can’t seem to stop talking about 11-year old Penelope Robin lately, whose new single and music video “Some Girls” has been taking the internet and indie airwaves across the country by storm as of late. Robin’s visibility has been expanding at a breakneck speed, and she isn’t wasting the window of opportunity that she’s been presented with in the least in this new studio cut. “Some Girls” is unquestionably her most robustly arranged and evocatively stylized release so far, and it arrives during a bit of a lull in American pop music that could use a dash of the youthful adrenaline this song was born of.
Instrumentally, “Some Girls” is a very classy, conventional pop song that puts a lot of emphasis on two key components in the vocal track and the piano. The piano keys are shrouded in a light spring reverb that doesn’t protrude into the vocal but nevertheless manages to cast a hazy shadow over the melody that Robin generates when she sings. The arrangement is surreal, even a bit cerebral, but it isn’t formless at all. Everything is constructed around the harmony between the keys and the vocal, and subsequently, the stoic pace that they season with vitality.
The video for “Some Girls” is Hollywood-quality, but it isn’t overindulgent. The visuals are somewhat drawn out and plodding, sort of like a dreamscape, but they fall in perfect cadence with the existential poetry that Robin is fiercely emitting from a distance. Although intercut with various serene frames of the city streets, Robin’s presence is a consistent lynchpin from start to finish, both through her charismatic smile and the powerful vocal she’s casting across every visual we see. The music is the real star of the show here, though it doesn’t minimize the work put into the video in the least.
While I don’t know if I would call the instrumental breakdown of “Some Girls” moody in spirit, there is a bit of a volatility to the rhythm that is tempered by the tight arrangement and reflects the energy in the lyrics awesomely. Robin wasn’t content to simply record a single that captured one side of her personality alone; here, she stitches together so many facets of her depth as a songwriter and packages them neatly for us in a streamlined but emotive single. You can tell that she worked really hard on making this a complete encapsulation of her artistry, and it was well worth her efforts.
A relentless smash single from a charming and organic talent that is well on her way to the primetime, “Some Girls” is just the dose of fiery pop balladry that this winter needed to get on the right track. I like what Penelope Robin has done in the studio so far, and if she stays on this present creative trajectory that she’s apparently handling with ease, then I can confidently say that we’ve only just begun to see what she’s capable of doing as a recording artist. “Some Girls” sets the bar awfully high for both Robin and her closest rivals, but something tells me that it won’t be the only hit we hear from this intriguing young voice as time goes by.