Pop music is in a golden age for those seeking a highly specific cocktail of moods: a strain of world-weariness that's inescapably tinged with sadness, longing, boredom, resentment and lust. That exact fuel mixture — the lustful woe; the bored, resentful longing — courses through every word of Chappell Roan's irresistible "Casual."
Throughout the song, Roan peppers her pleas with explicit details — some more explicit than others — about a relationship between lovers with incompatible desires. The story will surely sound familiar to anyone who's wanted more from a relationship and tried to be chill about it, but it's all the smartly phrased specifics that make "Casual" sing: the blurry images of future domesticity, the re-contextualized conversation with a relative, the eternal miscalculation of clinging to sex as a stand-in for emotional intimacy. Narratively speaking, "Casual" accomplishes a lot in four minutes. Don't be surprised if it makes Chappell Roan a star along the way.