We’ve been conditioned to say, “I’m fine,” when things are anything but. Pop singer-songwriter Teddi Gold comes clean about her mental health, while also comforting a friend, with a bass-heavy, effervescent new song called “Thought Bubbles.” Co-written with Shayna Zaid and Teddy Roxpin, who shares producer credits with Jon Buscema, its glistening outer shell entices you into a lyrically insightful world.
“You say, ‘I’m fine, I’m fine, I’m fine’ / Fine like you’re fucked up, insecure / Neurotic and emotional, like me,” Gold sings.
The hook, grinding along the beat, came directly from a conversation she had one day with her therapist. “[He] asked how I was doing. It was the start of our session and I told him. ‘I’m fine.’ He responded, ‘You mean you’re fucked up, insecure, neurotic, and emotional’? To which I laughed and said, ‘Yes.’ I think that is a funny and accurate acronym for F.I.N.E.” recalls Gold. “I think we all wish we could share more with others or wished that others shared more with us. I catch myself all the time responding ‘I’m ok,’ ‘I’m alright,’ ‘I’m fine’ when really I’d like to respon, ‘I’m heartbroken,’ or ‘I’m sad,’ or ‘I’m having a hard day.’ We aren’t really taught to do it.”
Meanwhile, a good friend was going through a tough time, too, and Gold was further inspired to craft the song. “She wasn’t able to open up about it. Every time I would ask how she was really doing, I was met with an ‘I’m fine, I’m fine,’ and of course, I knew things weren’t fine. There was secrecy about what was actually going on in her life. I was concerned. I wanted her to know it was ok to not be ok, and that I would show up for her.”
“Thought Bubbles” collapses with its lyrical heft, but a blanket of bubble sounds give it a necessary bit of levity. “The bubble sounds are my favorite part about the song,” gushes Gold, whose voice is as silky as the bass line. In an unexpected creative swerve, Roxpin beat boxed the bubble sounds ─ and you’d never realize it upon first listen.
“[Teddy] is amazing. It was an idea we had in the room. Teddy and I share a love for ‘90s hip-hop, so that was a big inspiration. I think the song is a natural evolution. In my song ‘Video Games,’ I used video game sounds, and for ‘Thought Bubbles’ I used bubble sounds,” she explains. “I love adding elements to production that are created by objects in your everyday life, or created with your own voice.”
Originally from Seattle, Gold and her family moved to Saint John, nestled in the Virgin Islands, for most of her childhood. The performer returned to the States, settling in West Hollywood, and has since worked toward burgeoning pop stardom. Gold released her debut, a Vol. 1 EP, in 2019 and continued issuing a series of singles, including “Confetti,” from earlier this year.
With the release of “Thought Bubbles,” anchoring a forthcoming follow-up, Gold reflects on her songwriting evolution. “I think with each song I better understand myself. I learn from each song. I think it will continue to evolve, at least I hope so,” she offers. “I don’t ever want to do the same thing twice. I want to keep exploring new sounds, new concepts, new styles of writing. That is the fun of it.”
“I think ‘Thought Bubbles’ is the most grounded song on the EP. The lyrics are sad. It’s about wanting to connect with someone and wanting to heal their heart. This is a big theme for me in my life. I think because I grew up with an alcoholic parent, it’s in my nature to want to fix things or make things alright. Sometimes you just can’t. And that’s painful.”
Listen to “Thought Bubbles” below.