By Maddie Keane | 10 December, 2022
Carol Ades, 26, is a New Jersey native turned LA-based singer-songwriter who has penned songs for both herself and the likes of Sofia Carson, Demi Lovato, and Selena Gomez over the years. Ades showcases her talent for deeply profound and personal lyricism in her second project, Sadtown USA, released on December 9th, 2022, and it is no less heartfelt and intimate than her previous work. The title track and first single of the EP, “Sadtown USA”, came out shortly after Ades began touring with Lizzy McAlpine as an opener for her “Five Seconds Flat” tour (I was lucky enough to see the show in Philly! Read my review here). The song itself is an ode to those times when you practically force yourself to stay focused on the negatives in your life for far too long– I don’t know about you, but “been there, done that”.
“Sunny Disposition” is the latest of three songs that make up Ades’ Sadtown USA project. The piece opens with a punchy electric guitar and the most immaculate “ooh”s I’ve ever heard in my life (a direct quote from my “first reaction” notes). Going into the first verse, Ades begins describing a girl who seemingly “lives for the party”, but it soon becomes clear that’s not the whole story. The singer goes on to paint the picture of someone with a “sunny disposition, but cloudy on the inside”, who pretends to be in a constant state of happiness in order to hide the inner turmoil that has really taken them over. For the second verse, which was teased in multiple TikTok videos leading up to the release, Ades recognizes her own “fake happy” tendencies, asking, “Do you get dark? (Cause I get dark); Do you get sad? (I get sad)”. This conversation with the subject of the song carries on, with Ades encouraging them to “just let it out” instead of bottling up their emotions. In the outro, Ades reaches out with a helping hand, repeating the phrase, “you know you don’t have to lie to me, if you want you could cry to me, know you don’t have to hide from me”. With this line, I like to think that she is offering the support that she either received, or wished she had received, in a time where she herself was putting on a “sunny disposition”.
Along with “Sunny Disposition”, a previously unannounced interlude, titled “One of Those Days”, was included on the Sadtown EP. The track is less than a minute long, featuring an acoustic guitar line underneath Ades repeating the words “one of those days” in layered harmonies, but is strikingly beautiful even in its simplicity. In her Instagram post about the EP on the night of its release, Ades states that the interlude “is just a 45 second loop meant to be played over and over again until you feel better or until you forget lol”, which is a heartwarming way to offer a shoulder to cry on to her fans and I’m sure I will be doing time and time again now that it’s out in the world.
Carol’s voice is one that I truly believe I will never tire of: her tone is soothing and strong in the same breath, and she sings in a way that perfectly captures the distinct feelings represented in each of her songs. “Sunny Disposition” is a masterfully constructed song that fits perfectly into the Sadtown world as an exploration of disassociation and its effect on a person’s sense of identity. I absolutely love the new song and the EP as a whole, and I sincerely hope that Ades has more music to share with us in the near future.