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“No Tears Left To Cry”: There’s so much tonal candy here, we had to have a whole public hearing about it when the song came out: the Kabalevsky-esque interplay between major and minor scales in the melody, the Vsus chord, and these yummy jewels-in-the-necklace add2 chords that make up the main chord-riff. It’s the add2 in the major tonic chord (I) that softens and disguises the tonal change between major and minor, by the way. The intro to this song is really two intros that use chorus material — first as is, then she slows it down from 122 to 100 BPM. Then the second intro is an odd 14 bars long, before we finally get to the verse.

The great thing about studying pop tunes is that they very rarely stray from a given key. They like to keep things rather diatonic. This means that with just a small bit of practice, you can start to recognize these chord progressions for yourself, even without your instrument in hand. We will go much deeper into our understanding of how these chords function in later articles, but for now let’s just get comfortable with what we get from “Sorry.”

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Chantel De Lava’s soft synths and laid-bare vocals breathe new life into R&B-infused synthpop. Despite heavy use of electronics, the mix never loses warmth or depth of emotion, leaving room for more open sections and gorgeous vocal runs. Stay late for ZEMA, an electropop singer/producer who writes infectious tunes that will get your hips shakin’ of their own accord.

From an artist’s perspective, countless hours go into creating music, perfecting a set, and bringing it to the stage — and that should speak for itself, right? It might be nice to fantasize about a world where musicians just show up to play and crowds miraculously appear, but that obviously isn’t how things work. Venues need bands to do much more than just show up and play great music, and all that starts with getting your foot in the door in the first place!