Chappell Roan breaks down every song on The Rise and Fall of a Midwest Princess | Making The Album

16 January 2024, 16:36

Chappell Roan Breaks Down Every Song On 'The Rise and Fall of a Midwest Princess' | Making The Album

Sam  Prance

By Sam Prance

Chappell Roan does a track by track of The Rise and Fall of a Midwest Princess on PopBuzz's Making The Album podcast.

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Get in loser, we're going to the Pink Pony Club!

Making The Album is back with the first episode of 2024 and this time we're speaking to Chappell Roan and discussing all the songs on her acclaimed album The Rise and Fall of a Midwest Princess.

For anyone new here, Making The Album is a PopBuzz podcast and video series in which we take you, the fans, inside the recording process of your favourite records. Over the course of the first four episodes, Sam Prance (that's me - hiya) has spoken to Niall Horan, Ashnikko, Madison Beer and Victoria Monét about their latest albums.

Now, Chappell Roan has entered the chat. In this episode, she opens up about what 'Femininomenon' actually means, the true story that inspired 'Kaleidoscope' and whether or not it's actually possible to stay friends with an ex. Chappell also teases her next album and reveals how she ended up on multiple Olivia Rodrigo songs.

Watch the video above to learn how The Rise and Fall of a Midwest Princess was made. You can also listen to the full episode on Global Player or whichever platform you use to listen to your podcasts.

To give you a little taster, below are some highlights of what Chappell had to say about each song.


Chappell Roan explains every song on The Rise and Fall of a Midwest Princess | Making The Album
Chappell Roan explains every song on The Rise and Fall of a Midwest Princess | Making The Album. Picture: PopBuzz

1) 'Feminomenon'

'We just kind of obviously made the word up. It was about how it's a phenomenon if sleeping with a man is better than sleeping with a girl. From my perspective, at least. I was like, 'This is a phenomenon but it's also feminine.' And so we just mushed it together and it's like three songs in one. It was pretty difficult to write and figure out but I love it. One review was like, 'If you can tolerate the first song, you can tolerate the whole album.' I think that's like really valid.'

2) 'Red Wine Supernova'

'I wrote that song shortly after 'Pink Pony Club'. And it took literally years to finish, and we could not figure it out. And then one day, we were just like, 'What should the bridge be?' We had so many different ideas. And we just settled on, 'what would it be fun to do with a crowd?' Which is usually what every bridge is. We were just kind of thinking like, 'Oh, what's like a country kind of chant'. And the wand and the rabbit line is just so I don't know. We were crying laughing when we were writing it. I just wanted something I could sing with the audience, you know?'

Chappell Roan - Red Wine Supernova (Live) | Vevo DSCVR Artists to Watch 2024

3) 'After Midnight'

'Once I moved out to LA when I was 18, I realised that literally everything good happens after midnight. It is a blast. And a lot of what I was taught, I think, was out of fear. It's like, kind of more dangerous, which I totally get, but I was just so baffled that actually, like 3am is so fun. 'Nothing good happens after midnight' is a little saying my dad said but he's not really adamant about that. It was just kind of like, what's a bubbly pop song? We can just talk about partying?'

4) 'Coffee'

'I was about to go to New York to film 'My Naked in Manhattan' little shoot and my ex lived there at the time, and we had broken up. And so I wrote about, 'Okay, I can't go to their house. We just have to get coffee.' And that didn't end up happening. So I think the song was me trying to convince myself that we just don't need to go there. We'll get coffee during the day. We shouldn't do anything else. We don't need to go to the park, we definitely should not go to a bar. We should not get dinner, nothing. And I didn't do any of that. So we went to a bar and then I went to their house. I think that the song is the story of me making up what I was hoping it would be like.'

5) 'Casual'

'I think a lot of people will be like, 'Oh, when you say I love you' [is when a relationship goes from casual to serious]. But I think it's more than that. I think it's before that. I think it's like, whenever you can hear them pooping or something. You're just like, 'I still want to be with you.' You're like, 'I haven't said, I love you. But this is not casual anymore.''

Chappell Roan - Casual (Official Music Video)

6) 'Super Graphic Ultra Modern Girl'

'I got that whole concept from an Architectural Digest YouTube video. This woman was describing the architecture of this house. And she was just like, 'It's super modern. This part is ultra graphic with all of the colours and....' like la la la. And I was like, 'Ding!', and I just like wrote it down. And I kept it in my notes for a long time. And then I was just like, how do we make this, so? How do you make this a pop banger?'

7) 'HOT TO GO!'

'I think [my grandparents who are in the video] ignore [the meaning of the song]. That's what you do in the Midwest. It's very much, 'Oh, you know, Kayleigh's dating a girl, but it's really just like her friend'. You just kind of ignore it. You don't really ask any questions. I kind of feel like, my family is like that with my entire project. I highly doubt my grandparents listen to 'Casual' or 'Red Wine Supernova'? Like really? I think 'HOT TO GO!' was pretty tame.'

8) 'My Kink Is Karma'

'At first, I literally walked out of the session. I was like, 'This is the dumbest thing ever.' I hated it. I think that about every song that I write though, at first, and then I grow to love it. But it was so fun to make up little things and just kind of list them. And it's so cathartic actually performing it, because it is like a release of all of these things that I really despised about my ex, and it just feels so good to like, get that out with the audience.'

Chappell Roan - My Kink is Karma (Official Music Video)

9) 'Picture You'

'That song is directly related to 'Casual'. They're about the same situation. 'Picture You' was about how I wanted them to see me so badly and like I was like obsessive over them. And then it turned out to be just casual for them. And that's why it was so shocking to me because I had pictured them in so many different ways, you know? So, I think 'Picture You' is a sombre song as well as kind of a sexy song.'

10) 'Kaleidoscope'

It's the only song I wrote last year by myself. I wrote one song and it was that. I was really in love with my best friend. And I told her and she was like, 'Okay, let me like think about this, like, give me a week to just like process this and let's talk about it.' On the day that we were about to talk, I just didn't know what to do with my emotions. So I wrote 'Kaleidoscope' and the song was just me trying to prepare for what I think I knew it she was going to say, which was, 'I don't think we should do this I think we should stay friends'.

11) 'Pink Pony Club'

'We were getting so much, honestly, negative feedback. But I was like, 'This feels so fun. And I want to do stuff this like this route. I want to have fun on stage and dance and to feel happy.' And I knew I wanted that. But people at the label didn't want to put it out. They didn't get it. And I mean, it's like, 'Damn bitch, were you wrong?''

Chappell Roan - Pink Pony Club (Official Music Video)

12) 'Naked In Manhattan'

'I, looking back, realise that I had massive crushes on my girl best friends, because I was so obsessive and possessive. And I was just like, 'They're the most perfect person in the world, and there's no one more beautiful.' And that I was definitely crushing on my besties. Then you look back and you're like, 'That was romantic!''

13) 'California'

'I just felt so sad in LA. And I think that's what it was. I really thought I would come to LA and all my dreams would come true. And I would feel so like myself. At times, it was that. But for many years, it was just so depressive and so heartbreaking. And I felt so defeated. And I think 'California' was inspired by wanting my dad to come pick me up. And just get me out of California because I feel like I let myself down.'

14) 'Guilty Pleasure'

'It's my favourite song that I wrote because I think it's so weird. 'Guilty Pleasure' is pretty jarring because there's a random key change and then that goes into pop. And then it's just kind of crazy. And there's an entire bridge of just yodelling. So I think I was just like, 'You know what. This is the stamp on the album! Like, this is weird and I love this and it is a guilty pleasure.' That's what my queerness felt like. It was a guilty pleasure because I was too scared to actually enjoy it fully.'

How do I listen to Chappell Roan's Making The Album episode?

Download the free Global Player app and subscribe to Making The Album via this link to listen to Chappel Roan's episode right now.You can also listen to Victoria's episode on Spotify, Apple and all platforms. Not to mention, you can watch the interview on the PopBuzz YouTube channel as well.

To find out who will be on the podcast next, follow @PopBuzz on Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and Facebook.

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