Carol Ades' “Better Than You Found Me” Is the Perfect Bout of Heartfelt, Soaring Songwriting


Photo: Caity Krone

There’s an undeniable lack of authenticity in this modern age of social media and 8-hour-plus screen times, but Carol Ades’ music is one place you’ll never be at a loss for genuineness. The indie-pop songwriter and artist has released her latest single, “Better Than You Found Me,” and it’s nothing if not candid. 

The song kicks off in classic Ades fashion, with gut-punch lyrics plucked straight from listeners’ diaries. “I am a lonely girl, I’m never satisfied / it’s just me and my mommy issues ’til the day I die,” she confesses. Her melodic landscape is deviously effortless, cascading through rhythmic waves, verging on an Ariana Grande level of dexterity. It’s a nod to Ades’ pop-writing mastery, as she is an achieved collaborator, lending a songwriting voice to many projects, like K. Flay’s recent, “Punisher,” and Joshua Bassett’s self-titled album. 

Understated chords first accompany the verse, but as “Better Than You Found Me” continues, we’re introduced to an ethereal electronic world that Ades has yet to venture into. She soars through the titular line, wondering, “Will you leave me better than you found me?” Then, Ades launches out of this hook and into a repetition of the opening lines, now re-contextualized over a swirling array of hyperpop sounds. 

There’s a crisp, quick dance beat driving the track forward, living at the center of gauzy, atmospheric textures and synth melodies. The intro lyrics are chopped up and woven into the beat, stepping into an almost DJ-adjacent sound. Listeners can hear the touch of Madelene Eliasson a.k.a. Lonely Twin on the production, whose own artist project explores this electronic world from the perspective of nostalgia and introspection. 

With this hyperpop-meets-dance sound, Ades gives a second life to the lyrics she returns to. While they initially landed with a solid hit of familiar self-deprecation at the start of the song, they now resound with a whirl of playfulness, spinning melancholy into a bit of cynical reflection. This is the spirit of Ades—earnestness in its truest form. Whether that means gore, shame, sensitivity, or a complete overshare, it’s always relatable, and she often offers the words I always wished I’d had the guts to say out loud. 

“Better Than You Found Me” is many things; it’s a safe place for intrusive thoughts set to ear-worm melodies, it’s pop ingenuity, it’s creative collaboration at a beautiful peak. But most of all, it’s Carol Ades embodied: real, raw, and human. 

Listen to “Better Than You Found Me” below:

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