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LIVVIA’s New Single ‘Catch a Body’ Seizes Success

By Becca Halaney, Reporter

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Pop singer-songwriter LIVVIA, also known as Olivia Somerlyn, released her newest single entitled Catch a Body on Jan. 19, showcasing a new, more mature sound than heard in her previous songs. Somerlyn began writing music at the remarkable age of 13, not only giving a voice to her creations, but piano and guitar instrumentals as well. Readers may recognize Somerlyn and her refreshing mix of danceable pop and heartfelt ballads from her previous singles Parachute, which landed itself the number-one spot on the Billboard Dance Club Songs chart in late 2014, and OXO, Somerlyn’s number-one hit on the 2015 United States dance chart. Years after she began writing music, Somerlyn continues to impress, also having finished as a finalist in the Las Vegas iHeart Radio Festival at the age of 20.

Somerlyn lives up to her promise of a more developed style in her newest single. Catch a Body still relies on the general rules of the pop genre, but Somerlyn takes a brave step away from the conventional, bending the tropes enough to make room for a refreshing taste of rap and a teasing hint of techno sandwiching in the relaxing, smooth vocals that garnish the chorus. Fast-paced drum beats contrast with fluid synth riffs, and featured rapper Quavo from the trio Migos mirrors this through his succinct lines underscoring Somerlyn’s tranquil, high-pitched melodies.

The song is, in its entirety, a clever play on words.

“I was in the studio with Rock Mafia starting a new track and the phrase ‘catch a body’ happened to come up in one of the improv vocal takes,” Somerlyn said, “so we built on that idea and used phrases like ‘if looks could kill’ and ‘you look so good it’s killing me’ to play on the meaning of ‘Catch a Body’ and tell a story about uncontrollable and sometimes destructive attraction.”

Indeed, the line separating romantic potential and, well, murder are blurred in a playful comparison between these two very different kinds of adrenaline-inducing activities. Somerlyn’s lyrics form a quip about what could be if there were no inhibitions, taking this thought to the absolute extreme. However unrealistic this comparison becomes as the song progresses, this sentiment is still a relatable one; it’s a part of the human condition to feel drawn to things that at best don’t help us and at worst cause harm, things like sugar and skydiving and scary movies. Somerlyn encapsulates the thrill that we enjoy experiencing through the barriers of books and movies when they depict romance (among other things) with just enough danger involved to be exhilarating. Likewise, this double entendre could be seen as an examination on how risky relationships and decisions, although they may be momentarily fun, cannot be expected to be maintained successfully in the long-run. By comparing perilous love to killing, Somerlyn carries this metaphorical death on to how fatal attraction does ensure its own end.

Catch a Body’s music video takes the lyrics very seriously, dropping the audience into a futuristic (but not enough that we’ve grown out of iPhones) and spy-themed segment of what could easily be a contemporary action film. The video comes across as playful and a tad silly in its melodrama; familiar tropes such as the mysterious and handsome stranger, leather-clad women fighting in high-heels, Matrix-style ridiculous fight sequences, neon lights and marble statues of stags decorating the scene, among others are packed into its mere four-minute run time. This again, if intentional, provides a lovely juxtaposition to the feel of the lyrics playing over the melee. To my pleasant surprise, the music video tells a complete and compelling (if not over done) narrative from start to finish, easily balancing keeping the viewer caught up visually without spelling things out to the point of tediousness. Despite its reliance on a cliche and all-American source material, seeming to take inspiration from decades worth of classic spy thrillers, Catch a Body adds a refreshing spin to the gendered expectations typically weighing these works down. Don’t forget to watch all the way to the end to catch the twist.

Catch a Body, although falling into the weaknesses of its genre — namely repetitiveness — manages to overcome these limitations to a pleasing degree; it would serve well as background or dance music for a party setting or perhaps a road-trip, but it’s maybe not the ideal pick for a study session or a family dinner. I would recommend it as a new addition to any pop playlist as it’s sure to add a missing element to all your dance party needs.

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