Breaking down Nat Slater’s latest single, ‘Romanticize’

By Alexis Watkins

Most people have been through it — the ups and downs, the yearning, the lying awake at night trying to figure out where a connection went wrong. Maybe it was all one-sided and doomed from the start. Or maybe it was the intensity of the moment. Either way, it left someone waiting for a text back for days, or worse — completely ghosted without an explanation.

Up-and-coming British pop and R&B singer Nat Slater explores the feelings of this type of connection in her latest single, “Romanticize.”

The track, produced by Oren Yoel, who has worked with artists such as Miley Cyrus, Tori Kelly and XXXTentacion, is layered with dreamy strings and garage beats. The crisp yet breathy vocals by Slater almost serve as a reflection of the mixing of the track, as she pours her heart out over an upbeat tempo. Slater expresses the thoughts of someone who is realizing that the reality of a connection may not be as promising as she once thought, due to the over-romanticization of a relationship.

The song starts off with light and airy vocals from the chorus and hazy instrumentals as Slater sings, “Romanticized us, maybe this was all in my head/ Romanticized us, like lookin’ through rose-colored glasses/ Romanticized us, tryna turn pebbles to diamonds/ Open my eyes, realize, we don’t get a fairytale end.”

The feeling of the rose-colored glasses coming off after the fleeting moments of passion with a lover has brought Slater to realize that she may not have the fairytale ending she had hoped for. As the song progresses, she continues to tell the story of the bittersweet beginning and tragic ending as she sees the connection and a partner for what they truly are.

“I wrote romanticize around 2 a.m. in my bedroom on my guitar,” the London-born artist said in a press release. “I was tangled up in a toxic mess with a guy; as I started to sing my pain away, I could feel the answer was in my words. I realized that I was stuck in a fantasy and kept romanticizing him into something he wasn’t. Writing this song finally set me free from the version of him I had created in my head.”

The first verse starts by telling the story of the beginning stages of a connection. The infatuation, the eagerness behind every kind gesture, and those first feelings of excitement.

“Met you on a Sunday, feeling all the feelings/ Sleep right through to Monday, Stay until the weekend/ Maybe we rushed in,” she sings.

As Slater is explaining the details of the relationship, the instrumentals crescendo, creating intensity lyrically and sonically.

Slater ponders the questions that most people ask themselves when dealing with or healing from the confusion that a relationship can bring when uncertainty arises. She continually asks, “Was it ever real?/ Did you ever feel it at all?” throughout the song after each verse, giving listeners insight into the internal battle felt by Slater as she comes to terms with reality.

By the second verse, Slater is fully aware of the feelings of betrayal she feels, with lyrics like “Devil undercover, just another disguise.”

The change from “Maybe we rushed in'' at the end of the first verse, to “Maybe I rushed in” at the end of the second, hints that the unreciprocated feelings have become evident. The chorus continues with the catchy lyrics that double as the hook, and the song fades into the end with more breathy vocals.

Slater has been mastering her sound since the age of 15, when she would frequent open mics around the city of London — and this single proves that. This is only the beginning of new releases from the artist, as she has been bouncing between Los Angeles and the UK working with well-known producers on her debut EP, which is set to release later this year.