Gatlin Delivers a Stirring Ode to Coming in Second Place in "Still Not Me"
Singer-songwriter Gatlin is starting off the new year by cementing her signature sound—vulnerable folk-country pop. It’s universally accepted that when it comes to heartbreak, coming to terms with the fact that all hope is lost is the most arduous part of the process. That gut-wrenching sensation is portrayed beautifully in “Still Not Me,” a fresh take on the classic unrequited love song.
There’s a certain strength to Gatlin’s vocals that compliments the melancholia that’s essential for a heartbreak-laden track like “Still Not Me.” Although it’s a devastating blow to realize you’ll never be first place, there’s also a serenity to accepting reality, a sentiment that shines through in Gatlin’s powerful performance. The consistent guitar strum pairs beautifully with the vocal delivery, evoking the same confident yet mournful emotional response. With a tantalizing melody and swaying tempo, “Still Not Me” captures listeners who have ever felt second best.
When the drums kick in halfway through the track, we hear a beautiful progression that mirrors the emotional swell. The song ends in a perfectly simplistic manner, highlighting the strongest lyrical punch; “They say you know when you know well I thought that I did / It’s a gift and a curse knowing that you exist.” Not only do those lyrics sum up the track, they leave listeners feeling heavy in the same way Gatlin was left by the ending of this relationship. “Still Not Me” succeeds in the art of storytelling through more than just lyricism, creating a natural urge to replay it over and over again.
Gatlin is putting herself on display with this haunting realization of unreciprocated passion, and it pays off. The new track is an elevated departure from her 2021 hit “What If I Love You,” marking impressive growth as a storyteller and vocalist. “Still Not Me” showcases her strong pen and channels her southern roots, coming together to form an addicting pop-country ballad that shines in its honesty and universality.
Watch the "Still Not Me" video below: