Haley Johnsen is one of the few artists that I can confidently say puts all her emotions into her songs. The Oregon native singer-songwriter is known for bending genres, putting her own twist on pop, indie and rock. With her powerful voice and creative lyrics, Haley spreads a message that resonates with her fans. 

Haley’s latest single “Goner” demonstrates more of her pop side of songwriting. It tells the story of a musician coming into her own and accepting all parts of herself, moving forward with greater confidence and hope.

“Goner” is very metaphorical, as Haley uses “water” as a way of symbolizing how she feels. The lyrics “Swallowed up in the deep end // I might have lost my pride again washed up in the shallow end” don’t actually mean she is physically drowning. They represent her being lost by the waves of life and having to start over again and again. Sometimes, it will take a few tries before you get something right; Haley’s song is dedicated to the people who keep making the same mistakes, but finally learning from the experience. 

Although her lyrics speak volumes, I was particularly mesmerized by the instrumentation. The arrangement makes it feel as if you are swimming in lilac glitter glue. There is something about the music that is very calming, as if expressing that everything will be okay. Prominent guitar strumming keep the beat in place, and the piano gives Haley a more creative route, allowing her to mix some indie elements into “Goner.” 

Happy and meaningful songs like “Goner” are my personal favorite – they are uplifting tunes that you can enjoy throughout your day. “Goner” can be listened to here on 104.7 KX FM.

Review written by: Sana Rashidi