If you haven’t heard of Nessa Barrett yet, you are severely missing out! At just 20 years old, this New Jersey native has already begun making her mark on the music industry, transitioning from social media star to a bonafide alt-pop force! Her debut album, young forever, was released on October 14, 2022, and let us tell you: we’re already obsessed! As this new era kicks off, we’ve dived into her entire catalog to give you a quick guide to the essential Nessa Barrett songs to add to your playlist (and to share with those who you might be trying to recruit to the Nessa Nation!)
‘i hope ur miserable until ur dead’
‘i hope ur miserable until ur dead’ was the lead single off Nessa’s debut EP Pretty Poison and was her first chart entry debuting at #88 on the Billboard Hot 100. That’s not why we love it, though! This song is the perfect break-up anthem for those of us who don’t want to take the high road this time and want to be a little, as Nessa would say, “petty at f*ck!”
‘dying on the inside’
Nessa is never one to stray away from difficult subjects. Always a true mental health advocate, she released ‘dying on the inside’ and and gave audiences a glimpse of what it’s like to battle an eating disorder daily. With its catchy, high-tempo chorus, it’s a beautiful juxtaposition to the somber source material. She’s used her incredible knack for lyricism to paint a hauntingly beautiful picture, including the iconic line: “beauty is a knife I’ve been holding by the blade,” a sentiment which seems to have spoken to a lot of fans also struggling with body image issues.
The lead single off her debut album, ‘die first’ is also dedicated to her late best friend Cooper Noriega, who unfortunately passed away in June 2022. It is a heartbreaking tale about the natural fear of losing those we hold dear, a pain several of us can relate to. This song serves as an excellent introduction to the new young forever era for stans and new fans alike!
This song may not be an official single, but is a standout from young forever. Once again tackling the topic of mental health, Nessa introduces listeners to the term love bombing, defined as an attempt to influence a person by demonstrations of affection or attention. She has been vocal about her diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder, an often misunderstood and stigmatized mental illness, and has gorgeously put into words the pain, shame, or guilt that many with BPD can feel after unintentionally hurting those they care about most.
‘tired of california’
Although the lyrics specifically talk about the “city of angels,” this is the song for anyone who has ever felt stuck or trapped. Nessa Barrett is brutally honest about the vapid and seeming shallow side of Los Angeles, yet feels as though she can never leave. Supported by a talented children’s choir, she also touches on the desire to, in fact, be young forever as the album title suggests.
‘too hot to cry’
You may be asking why but hear us out. We can all admit that ‘too hot to cry’ is a “bad b*tch anthem.” It’s the song you play when you’re speeding down the highway with the windows down after someone just broke your heart, to remind yourself that you deserve nothing but the best. However, please don’t speed. We at The Honey POP promote safe driving! Between its empowering lyrics and addicting guitar lines, it’s the perfect introduction to new listeners to get them hooked!
A non-album single released early in her career, this is what we call an oldy but a goody. Also meant to bring on the girl power, this is a song about moving on from a toxic situation and realizing that even if you’ve made mistakes, they hurt you worse but you are stronger for it. Also, bonus points because the music video will always be iconic!
Now let’s be real. If we could, we’d put Nessa’s entire discography on this list. It was almost impossible to narrow it down to seven, but someone had to do it! So we’ll ask you. Which song would you use to introduce someone to Nessa and her music? Let us know by tweeting us @thehoneypop or visiting us on Facebook and Instagram.
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Writer for The Honey Pop and Founder of Electric Fame. Cat mom, poet, traveler, and aspiring professional concertgoer.