Maddie Regent breaks down toxic relationships on ‘Girl of Your Dreams’

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Recommended Tracks: “Butterflies,” “SIDE FX,” “Hiding place”
Artists You May Like: Charli XCX, Carlie Hanson, Love You Later

It’s weird how people change in relationships, and it’s weird how relationships can change people. One will always influence the other, whether the relationship informs the acts of the person or the person sways the way of the relationship. Sometimes this influence is inconspicuous, quietly doing the work without anyone noticing. Other times, it is more pronounced. Sometimes the result is good, sometimes it is negative. On Maddie Regent’s new EP, Girl of Your Dreams, the rising alt-pop artist focuses on the negative, touching on the way that bad relationships can poison someone from the inside out.

For the first portion of the EP, Maddie points out toxic patterns and behaviors. On “Buy her a drink,” she realizes that something is off. On a night out, she observes, “You saw me on the dance floor / I wanted to belong to someone else / Who did you really come for? / You saw me and you kept it to yourself,” trying to figure out the other person’s motive for being in the same club as her. She then puts the pieces together on “Prettiest please,” listing the damage. She sings about tensing up and going on guilt trips, her words shattering the pop stylings of the track. When we arrive at “Butterflies,” Maddie continues to mix vibrant music with heavier lyrics, evoking both the light and the dark she felt as she navigated the end of a relationship. Between the playful riffs and steady downbeats, she recalls, “You knew everything I wanted like the back of your hand” and “All I ever wanted was a good time,” trying to put the past behind her.

Towards the middle of the EP, we turn inward. Maddie exposes what is really going on with “SIDE FX,” a light electro-pop track that reveals all she has held inside. To the world, she flashes a smile and tries to act like everything is fine. But with lines like, “Fake it ‘til you hate it / Now look what you created” and “Take off the makeup, honey / Put on a mask instead,” it is clear that all is not as it seems. This idea is further explored on “Deadweight,” where she admits to telling lies and hiding her real self. To the upbeat sounds of the dance music, Maddie delivers downbeat lyrics, singing, “I think I’m dead weight / You think I’m so great / I’m thinking, ‘Just wait’ / Let’s skip to heartbreak.” These private thoughts come to a head on “Can’t pretend,” where she knows that she has to end things. She takes responsibility for why the relationship is not working out, saying that she really loved this person but “can’t pretend” to be happy any longer. Even though there is a forward-moving energy to the track, its lyrics keep us planted in one place, trying to sort out the details behind this breakup.

On the closing tracks “Hiding place” and “ruining,” Maddie deals with the aftermath of letting go. She attempts to live her best life after a breakup on “Hiding place,” but the ex finds a way back into her life. Beneath the layers of pop riffs, she recounts these interactions, singing, “I’m moving on but we’re moving at the same pace / You crossed my mind without even looking both ways” and “I hope that you notice the way I go out / To unholy places where the music’s too loud / ‘Cause I thought I saw you, so I tried to shout / But it wasn’t you and now I’m blacking out.” In the end, the “hiding place” inside her mind is not safe anymore, which also comes across on “ruining.” While Maddie wants better for herself with her relationships, she knows herself too well. She will make excuses, go back to the same people, and get in her head, leading to disappointment. She claims, “It’s who I am, just ruining,” scared that she will not be able to change.

When speaking about Girl of Your Dreams, Maddie shared that it was about how the bad parts in relationships can be enough to convince someone that they are not worthy of good relationships. These bad experiences can lead to “a cycle of toxic relationships, both with others and yourself,” as the belief of not being worthy can manifest in new or unusual ways. Maddie really captures this on the EP, exploring the downfalls that unfold mentally, physically, and emotionally both during and between relationships. It is interesting to hear these stories against the music, which shows off Maddie’s signature genre-blending style; musically, we are here to dance, but lyrically, we are here to lament. It’s not easy to be the “girl of your dreams,” as we learn, but it is easy to be a woman of reality.

You can listen to Girl of Your Dreams on platforms like Apple Music and Spotify.

Keep up with Maddie Regent: Instagram // X // Facebook // TikTok // YouTube // Website

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