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"Expectations" by Ella Isaacson and Gallant | Review

Now is an ideal time to address this idea of “expectations” and what happens when they’re gone. Ella Isaacson and Gallant’s new single, “Expectations,” touches on the sadness and freedom that comes with letting go of expectations and embracing what you know to be true. Both Isaacson’s and Gallant’s vocals – a bittersweet combination of her floating voice and his deep, airy notes – convey the complexity of the bind of expectations. They blend well not only on a vocal level, but an emotional one too, which gives this song more depth; you almost feel as though they are singing together.

Not only are the vocals beautiful, but the lyricism also establishes an emotional connection to the listener. My favorite line is from the first verse when Isaacson sings, “Mirrors were my best friend because they told me the truth.” She ponders the inevitability of finding yourself amongst lies or ideas you tell yourself in this creative metaphor involving self-reflection. One of the most heartbreaking moments comes during the chorus though, when both Isaacson and Gallant sing, “Believe me, I had different expectations too.” It’s this admittance that carries with it an aftertaste of disappointment that makes this moment so powerful. Not only is it one person admitting this revelation to themselves, it’s two people acknowledging that they fell short of these expectations.

Isaacson intentionally wanted to address the binary of expectations, saying, "I wanted to tell a story about coming out as who you are and how sometimes in life you start on a path or a direction and suddenly things change. You change or unlock who you really are in ways you didn't even expect. We try on a shoe, that just doesn't fit no matter how much we wanted it to.”

Written by Tatum Jenkins

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