Singer-songwriter Bradley Kim releases a new single titled “High School.” With this single release, Kim showcases a side that hasn’t been seen and gets personal throughout the lyrics.
Bradley wrote High School in response to his experience of being a closeted athlete in high school. Because he believed that the truth about him would destroy his reputation, his family’s reputation, and his sports team’s dynamics, he hid parts of who he was from everyone. The LGBTQ+ community’s struggle is probably well-known to most people on the outside, but it is difficult to truly grasp how damaging/traumatizing it is unless you have actually experienced it. Every day of Bradley’s childhood, he hated a part of himself because society told him to. Despite being far removed from where he grew up, he is still affected by the trauma of growing up closed-minded.
The lyrics of “High School” portray Bradley’s struggle to fit in with the other college students at parties and hooking up with people that he “should” be with. He writes about all the nights he spent feeling helpless as he lay in bed, hoping for the day that he would leave the nightmare he was living. In the chorus, the last line directly references his desire to escape this mental prison that high school represented to him. Liam Hull’s verse showcases the more “straight” side of Bradley in high school, showing the dynamics of Bradley’s experiences in high school as well as those of much other closeted youth today.
The instrumental accompanies the lyrics with a melancholy yet hopeful mood; it sets the right mood for the lyrics but also makes the listener believe that the torment is coming to an end with graduation. Kim’s guitar-driven songs may be emotionally moving, but “High School” is no exception.