When the chorus drops on Annalise Azadian’s “Passenger Mirror”, strings punctuate the mood with an intensity, then the bass pounds so deep you can almost feel it shake the ground. If you hadn’t been drawn in by her stirring and emotive voice or the melodic piano underscore before this point, good luck not falling in now.
It’s the first in a series of moments that are built up on “Passenger Mirror”: the understanding that the imagery of the clip thematically ties to what Azadian sings of, namely the relatable confusion we all face about where our life is going; the shock of old car parts in slow motion that contrasts with the open road fast-paced scenes as Azadian sings out the car window; and of course the slow building catchiness that by the end is nearly unshakeable.
At twenty years old, Annalise Azadian is at the crucial time for asking questions. Her songwriting prowess comes with her symbolic use of language, such as the tie in of the passenger mirror’s steady phrase, “Objects in mirror may be closer than they appear”. Using restraint in her vocals to save the big moments for the instrumentation feels a wise choice in a world so saturated in sureness.
“Passenger Mirror” is in many ways a slow-burn, but the track ends with a heavy satisfaction and the delicate beauty of the open road before us all.