The summer's winding down, and aside from our quick-but-oppressive mid-August heat wave, Portland's dog days have been curiously low-key. We've been dealing with cloudy morning skies which the sun doesn't bother bursting through until 1 or 2 p.m., and most of our collective enthusiasm about Hot Vax Summer has been tempered by the complicated, unsexy realities of life in year two of a pandemic.

Rising Northwest star Parisalexa's foggy single “...Better Than Being in Love" came out in late July, but its sound speaks perfectly to the burnt-out juncture where we find ourselves at the end of August. Producers B Ham and Bizness Boi provide a beat that booms here and there but mostly keeps it small and steady, with crisscrossing guitars that conjure the bleary coziness of a Sunday hangover.

Of course, Parisalexa's vocals are the star. They swoop and dive through a supremely satisfying melody—it is chemically impossible to resist the dopamine rush when she sings, "I'm a vision / One you clearly couldn't see / Made a decision, I'm leaving you for me," in the track's twisty first verse. Throw the self-determined lyrics, silky-smooth vocals, and hazy late-August sound together, and you come up with something vital.

Maybe this is a reach, but the way the song emulates our sun-starved disillusionment and then matches it to the idea that loving ourselves is, indeed, "better than being in love,” is almost touching.

Check out the full track below and decide for yourself. Once you've added it to your playlists, keep an eye out for the music video, which drops on Tuesday.

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