Ranking of Public Void

The name Penelope Scott may not ring a bell but if you have TikTok, you’ll definitely recognize her music. Sweet Hibiscus Tea immediately caught my attention on TikTok. Some of her other popular TikTok famous sounds include Lukewarm, Born2Run, Cigarette Ahegao, and Rät but I quickly discovered that talent could not possibly fit into 60 seconds. Scott combines genres such as grunge and indie along with others I couldn’t possibly name because of the complexity. She uses this unique style with her relevant, truthful, and angsty lyrics to create her ever so popular music. I’ve ranked each song on her newest album, Public Void, in decreasing order based on how likely I am to listen to it. I take into consideration the style, lyricism, and overall musicality.

#1: Rät

Rät gained popularity through TikTok. The music sounds like a seemingly happy video game while the lyrics touch on darker topics. Specifically, the song is about the flaws of technology and innovation. There is also an emphasis on Elon Musk. I love the realness that Scott puts into this song and because of this, I couldn’t decide on just one standout lyric.

Standout Lyric (x2):

“I can’t believe you tore humanity apart with the very same machines that could have been our brand new start”

“And I don’t want to eat the rich I’d have to eat my heroes first”

#2: Moonsickness

Scott opens Moonsickness with immediate vocals. There are slow and purposeful chords in the background that give the song a vibey sound. The vocals start spaciously and faded with Scott’s typical vintage-sounding vocals cutting in throughout. This is one of Scott’s more comforting songs

Standout Lyric: “I’ve got one hundred hours to rearrange the stars”

#3: Feel Better

It’s extremely impressive how Scott could make a song with a heartbreak trope unique and interesting, but she somehow managed in Feel Better. The song opens with a very musical progressive rock-sounding beat. It’s a really fast song with jumbled lyrics and music. This reminds me of a Yungblud song in all of the best ways.

Standout Lyric:

“I had my cake I ate it, it ate me too”

After hearing a few of Penelope Scott’s songs on TikTok, I decided to listen to more of her music. Scott's latest album, Public Void, is a bold incorporation of many elements including fast and suspenseful music, rushed singing, and vintage-esque vocals.

#4: Cigarette Ahegao

Cigarette Ahegao is the reason that I decided to start listening to Scott after hearing the song on TikTok. The entirety of the song has background music that sounds like a video game. There are a lot of faded voices, background sounds, and spoken vocals which almost seem like commentary. Although slightly creepy I do enjoy listening to this song, although maybe just because of the nostalgic feeling it brings.

Standout Lyric:

“And we covered it in a class that I’m about to fail”

#5: Lotta True Crime

Scott explores a different take on music in Lotta True Crime. The background sounds like a spy show. Then the song carries into a slow chorus with slightly less suspenseful music which saves it from sensory overload. I love listening to this song but it is a little boring compared to some of the others on this album.

Standout Lyric:

“But Ted Bundy was just never that f***** bright he was just sorta charismatic and white”

#6: American Healthcare

I’m not a huge fan of American Healthcare. The background music is circus-esque yet mechanical. Overall, the song is incredibly overwhelming with so many different noises, all at speedy and confusing tempos. The lyrics are good, per usual for Scott, but this song is not on my playlists.

Standout Lyric:

“I don’t know what you want me to say but tell me faster, cause you’re running out of time”

#7: Dumpster

This is a really dark song. It sounds like something that would be played by corporate trapped employees taking a cigarette break behind a dumpster. The aggressive music and vocals that sound like they’re coming through a radio make the song slightly overwhelming. This also causes difficulty in understanding the lyrics which is why this is my least favorite song on the album.

Standout Lyric:

“If you keep me in one place, I’ll be your Sylvia Plath”

While not on the lightest of topics, Public Void is overall an album that I will be listening to again. I tend to enjoy the lyrics more than the darkness that comes with a few of the songs, like Dumpster. I think that the impactful lyricism and empowering angst that Scott brings is what makes this album a much-needed unique and refreshing listen.

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