There was an intoxicating snippet at the end of SZA’s “Hit Different” video that featured the songstress as a seductress on a pommel horse. That small piece of enticing music has now been expanded into quite the Christmas gift of a single in “Good Days.”
The cover art for the single features a young Solana in a Mickey Mouse sweatshirt with a tattoo of the song title on her head and a teardrop by her right eye, looking like her own version of the Lil Wayne Tha Carter III artwork. Little SZA seems to have eyes of wonder and innocence, and as “Good Days” is a song of regret, the nostalgia of that better time seems craveable to her. Her prechorus lyrics, “I worry that I wasted the best of me on you, baby. You don’t care,” utter melodic words that feel specifically poignant to any of us who have revealed the depths of ourselves to someone in a relationship. Lack of reciprocation of vulnerable love requires escapism and reminiscence of a kinder time before to heal from. SZA seems to capture all of those desires in one exemplary track.
The ethereal yet full background to her lyrics combined with luscious layered vocals from herself and Jacob Collier make such a complete composition. As they sing the hook together with lyrics, “I still wanna try, still believe in good days / Always inside. Always in my mind / Good day living in my mind,” the fantastical fairy world of SZA’s harmonic soundscape appears in your own imagination. SZA’s music seems to always allow space through its tone for you to process your own mistakes.
The sound of this single seems more reminiscent of her 2014 Z album, just with more true and updated melodic prowess that SZA gained from doing Ctrl. It feels new and familiar simultaneously in a way that bodes well for the album that follows these gratifying two lead singles. With her last sung line, “Half of us chasin’ fountains of youth and it’s in the present now,” SZA concludes with a leap out of her dwelling on the past and encourages those who have that tendency like herself to dive into self-love for their current state no matter how flawed. If her next album expresses an arc anything like this song, it will be riddled with promise.