They say hindsight is 20/20. Often times, songs that reflect on experiences their writers have lived through or relate to, see the events in question through a rearview mirror. Thus, this adage takes on a bit of popularized wear and tear when considering a song’s meaning or narrative. In the case of “Body Language,” the new single by Boston, Massachusetts indie pop-punk band Mint Green (which also serves as the band’s debut with Pure Noise Records) consideration of hindsight is certainly present but, everything isn’t necessarily about a processing through a past tense lens, even if it reads that way directly in the lyrics.
Mint Green is:
Ronnica (Vocals, Guitar)
Daniel Huang (Drums)
Tiffany Sammy (Bass)
Brandon Shaw (Guitar)
Based on both its lyrical implications, it’s easy to see that “Body Language” is a song that’s dances the line between present and past. Right from the get-go, vocalist and guitarist Ronnica sets the scene of someone in the midst of inner thought and some inner conflict (Tonight i can’t see past these headlights / But I’m driving faster than your mind / I just can’t stand it when I’m not right / And I cant compromise). Though the opening verse is intended as a metaphor for mental tunnel vision and shortsightedness amidst conflict, rather than a literal divulgence, there’s an understanding that the emotional difficulties Ronnica is sharing, are unfolding in the moment. In this way, “Body Language” doesn’t start from a place of hindsight. As the song unfolds, the second verse brings the listener to an explicitly past tense place but mixed in between these two reflections, is the song’s overarching aspiration, crafted into the form of a very catchy chorus:
You are to me something I wish I could be
When you make me feel like I’m not just crazy
You promised me despite everything you’ve seen
You won’t leave
You are to me something I wish I could be
– Lyrics from “Body Language”
It’s this section of the song that stands out the most in “Body Language” – not simply because of its place in the song’s lyrical structure but because of how Ronnica’s reflection is itself a sentiment that transcends time. The words indicate a present desire, while the hope in them can also be applied to situations in the past and future. This simple act of connecting and blending the two temporally describes scenes in the verses, are what elevate the song and its narrative from two-dimensional contemplation to that of a fluid and evolving state of being. The person at the beginning of the song isn’t the same person they are in the second verse of the song, and aren’t the same person after the final recurrence of the chorus.
Yet, because of the continuous nature of the chorus – the wish-things-could-have-been-different but also on-going perspective to its train of thought – the story retains a piece of who the person is and how they cope with life in front of them, throughout the whole song. This mental and emotional overlap is really refreshing because rather than make “Body Language” feel like a story set in emotional segments, like a storyboard with abrupt single panel actions, Mint Green specifically imbues their newest song with an element of linguistic flexibility that aligns with the gradual and not always linear process of personal growth. The chorus can easily stand on its own as a display of where a person is, even if how they communicate in their relationship has changed in the passing of days, weeks, months or years. Perhaps then it’s best to say that while “Body Language” contains some definitive moments of hindsight after imperfect interactions, that the song is more about recognizing and committing to change – even if future moments looking back involve a retreading of emotional views we’ve already seen and tried to let go of.
As a band that projects a more tonally raw and dynamically bold arrangement that teens from the early 2000s, and fans of emo-tinged pop-punk a la early Paramore and Tigers Jaw will recognize and likely embrace, Mint Green presents an intriguing facet of contrast with the narrative perspective in “Body Language.” Rather than pair their sonic style with the cultural perspective of the demographic from which is draws its musical influence (which often embraced songs touting defiance and negative emotional self-indulgence with no room for deviation,) Mint Green opt for a more open-minded and mature point of view to this bout of temporary interpersonal adversity. Thus, the end result is an ode to preferred sonic punctuation of teens past with an inner understanding of one’s older self in the present. The underlying creative contrast of Mint Green as a whole, shows a recurring appreciation for the bridges between the experiences that make us who we are, as opposed to offering static reflections frozen in place and its this mentality that gives Mint Green and its music a decidedly evolved and sophisticated edge, without having to discard the straightforward, tried-and-true musical qualities of their spin on indie pop-punk, which is what gives “Body Language” so much initial appeal. Mint Green has presented itself as a band that can span generations – a group that its listeners can grow with. And as a group that’s clearly just starting to hit an exciting stride in the public landscape, this is a perfect position for Mint Green to be standing in.