Nessa Barrett is wary of the “girl in New York” in her latest single. As always, the singer-songwriter was able to infuse the emotional turmoil a person usually experiences when they find out their partner has wandering eyes. Well, this time without the “I hope you’re miserable until you die” part.
The rollout for her 2024 album, church club for the lonely, is still happening with “girl in new york” serving as the latest single for the record. Judging from the singles released so far, this album will be a nuanced telling of Barrett’s lowest points, from the pain of losing a friend – “club heaven” – to boy problems, and even extreme boy problems.
Barrett officially premiered the song across multiple performances while on the closing leg of her 2023 tour. Released on December 8, the song was recorded between September 14 and 16 and saw Barrett, Cleo Tighe, and producer Evan Blair pen the lyrics.
“Bags in your hand as you kiss me / Tellin’ me you’re gonna miss me / Promise you’ll be on your best behavior,” she sings in the opening verse, describing how she wished him to “have a good time.” However, she clarifies that forgetting about her wasn’t included in having said good time.
“You said I was yours / Maybe just on the West Coast / ‘Cause as soon as you left home / You got wanderin’ eyes,” she sings in the chorus, accusing him of not making good on his promise that she was “special.” In the outro, she asks, “Who the hell is she / Takin’ you from me? / Baby, I know about the girl in New York.”
If you’re looking for that signature Barrett anger, it’s not explored in this song. “girl in new york” is about a girl heartbroken to find that her lover is creeping around with someone else. There’s no mention of how the relationship will progress after she finds out she is being cheated on. Barrett’s gentle voice beautifully conveyed how shell-shocked the discovery has left her. Promoting the song on her socials, Barrett called it “one of my favorite songs I’ve ever made.”
Ecstatic from her successful surprise “church club for the lonely” tour, the star shared her gratefulness to get to do what she loves, writing: “i have no words to express how i grateful i am for every single one of u who came out to the church club for the lonely us tour. i’m sitting here in tears thinking about how lucky i am to be able to sing, laugh, dance and cry with u like how is this my life. thank u for allowing me to live out my dreams. you’re all i need at the end of everything.”