Inside ‘Paper Thin’: A Musical Exploration of Anxiety with Nick Alexander
Nick Alexander, hailing from the culturally rich landscapes of South India and having honed his craft across the United States, Ireland, and the United Kingdom, has channeled his diverse experiences into his new single “Paper Thin.” This song exemplifies the feeling of being completely overwhelmed by an unstoppable change – a feeling every human being can relate to. Envisioning myself listening to it after a hectic day to help me unwind, I will definitely be adding it to my chillax playlist, and I recommend that you do the same.
The sensation of being overwhelmed, which can paralyse the mind, is vividly captured in the instrumentation of this piece. The song’s introduction demonstrates the familiar scenario where you tell people “Everything is fine” mirrored in the faint staccato piano keys that sound very sweet and calming while your interior is spiralling with waves of anxiety displayed in the repetitive scalic choral melody from the acoustic guitar. The instrumental arrangement stresses how we tend to sugar-coat our negative emotions to please others, when in truth, we feel ‘paper-thin’.
Listen to Paper Thin by Nick Alexander on Spotify
Nick uses a “broken clock” simile to depict their anxieties, suggesting that they’re not proactively doing anything to get out of this rut as they feel too insubstantial to overpower them. This message is lyrically reiterated throughout the song from the lyrics in Verse 1 stating “I watch it burn inside out” depicting the action of doing nothing when you feel like your world is collapsing around you. This sentiment is echoed in the opening lyric of Verse 2: “I know this feeling too,” reinforcing that this feeling has consistently crept up on Nick. Overall, the lyrics require a moderate amount of literary analysis to comprehend and do not follow a rhyme scheme, strengthening the unconventional feeling of this song. The lyrics do not state a definitive source explaining the reasons for this feeling which I think rings true to the reputation of anxiety. Additionally, there is no hopeful resolution promoted at the end, as the music fades out and we’re left hearing “paperthin” for one last time. Nick removed the hyphen in the title to emphasise the emotion of feeling insubstantial against the weight of life’s pressures. The same lyrics repeat in the outro whilst the instrumentation fades out showing that the singer has come to terms with their emotions, the first step to battling them.
However, the solemn tone heard in the first half is dominated by the powerhouse tenor vocals supported by a soprano voice in the chorus which consolidates the notion that you are not alone when feeling negative emotions. The interaction between the two singers cleverly mimics the beginning dynamic between the lead guitar and piano, amplifying the emotional weight that overwhelmingness brings about.. The instrumental arrangement shifts from playing in a homophonic texture to intertwining polemically whilst the volume crescendos, mimicking the roller coaster of emotions inside your mind when confronting anxiety. Furthermore, the soft electronic guitar line we hear in the beginning transitions to an ace bluesy solo penultimate to the final verse representing an outburst of emotions, defying the lyrics sung throughout. Therefore, this song encourages its listeners to take a breath, identify where they are struggling, and process their anxieties rather than compressing them.
Nick Alexander’s “Paper Thin” is a profound musical exploration of anxiety and the human condition, marrying poignant lyrics with dynamic instrumentation. If you’ve ever felt the weight of the world bearing down on your shoulders, this song speaks directly to that experience. Check out Nick on Instagram and all major music streaming platforms. If you enjoyed this, check out more reviews from IAMUR here… You might just find your new favourite artist!