For her first release of 2021, Saleka gives fresh representation to an old art form: words. Presented as a ballad, “Graffiti” is a slower track for the 25-year-old, separating it from her previous singles, “Clarity” and “Mr. Incredible.” Additionally, the track does not have a real melody or heavy instrumental accompaniment, ensuring that its lines and messages get all of the attention. This unconventional style might be risky, but Saleka’s voice is so spellbinding that we are captivated, nonetheless.
In regards to the track, Saleka shared that it is “more bare, vulnerable, intimate.” She explains that “Graffiti” is “pretty much a diary entry,” and that “it is about the power of words, especially the words of those we love. How they are like spells, and often end up defining our world, who we believe we are and what we believe we can become.” When it comes down to it, “Graffiti” is the epitome of words speaking louder than actions – not the other way around.
Throughout “Graffiti,” Saleka and the gentle chords of the vibraphone accompaniment work together to paint dreamy, telling scenes. We hear about melting into “December mornings” and being addicted to “the momentary high” of the person Saleka describes, but we also hear about “negative space” and “abrasion.” Clearly, something more sinister is going on. When we get to the choruses, it is revealed that all of these private moments are marred by “his graffiti.” Even though the graffiti is not visible, it shapes, moves, and influences Saleka’s outlook in a way that simply cannot be washed away or painted over; that graffiti is everlasting. You can check it out below.
You can listen to “Graffiti” on platforms like Apple Music and Spotify.