Mar 25, 2021
By Caleb Campbell
Photography by Jessica Alvarez
Rochester singer/songwriter Ronnie Watts first introduced her heartbreak ballads with her 2020 debut EP I DON’T TRUST U AT ALL, earning praise for its evocative indie pop visions of picturesque teenage drama. Watts has returned with a collaborative rerecording of “You Said” from the EP, now featuring British singer/songwriter Zach Oliver and premiering with Under the Radar.
On first impression, the new version of “You Said” maintains a lot of similarities to the original. Deftly finger-picked acoustic tones accompany Watts’s moving vocals and rising layered harmonies. Meanwhile, the indie pop ballad tells much the same story with Watts traveling hours to meet a lover at the train station only to realize he wasn’t coming. Yet, the addition of Zach Oliver’s vocals and verse add a different dimension to the soul-baring ballad, offering the other side of the story for a swirling potent vision of teenage heartbreak.
Watts says of the track: “We met over Zoom and Zach instantly got the story I wanted to tell. I love that we get to show another perspective to this song. “You Said” and the EP, I DON’T TRUST U AT ALL, has one consistent storyline, but we wanted to show that in a relationship, neither person is perfect. We’re both flawed and we see the same situation in different ways.
“It really only took one Zoom call with Ronnie to know that we shared very similar creative energy and outlook when it comes to songwriting,” Oliver says. “I was honestly blown away at how easy she made it to discuss connecting deeply to making music and how we use it to reflect what is going on in our lives.”
“After hearing “You Said” and chatting to Ronnie about what it meant to her, I thought it was such a great idea for her to want an opposite perspective on what the song would mean to the other half of the situation. The song really hit home for me the first time I heard it because I could totally relate to it. Someone keeping their cards too close to them, not ever really expressing how they felt in a relationship and how much the person really did mean to them.” Check out the song below. Ronnie Watts’s I DON’T TRUST U AT ALL EP is out now.