Premiere | Charlie and the Rays – Wanna Be Like You

Photo by Anna Letson

“I wrote ‘Wanna Be Like You’ during a period of my life where I felt stunted, stuck, and unable to create the change that I knew I needed,” says Charlie and the Rays’ Rebecca Stobbe.

“The lyrics are seemingly directed toward another person—a ‘you’—but really this song is about the person I knew I could be in the future. I think I personified my future self in this way because it felt so tangible to me—I knew I could become that person, but at that point I just couldn’t make the changes necessary in order to grow, and that frustrated me beyond belief. ‘Wanna Be Like You’ is about the mental battles within ourselves, the anxiety we face, and the honest desire to make change within ourselves.”

In terms of composition, the song is a rocking folk jam—an up-tempo foot-stomper that one wouldn’t imagine to beget such frustration. Yet, therein lies the brilliance of Charlie and the Rays’ latest. The song is free to interpretation; its genial delivery lends itself well to perceived optimism, and the message between the lines could be barbed towards an inner or outer ‘you’. That Stobbe relates herself so fully to a specific idea of gearing it towards ‘you’ she wants to be, however, is how the tune shines with such vibrant and explosive emotive power.

‘Wanna Be Like You’ is the latest cut to be shared by Charlie and the Rays from off of their upcoming EP, That’s Where You Were Born. As always, it presents guitarists and vocalists Rebecca and Jordan Stobbe. The EP is due out on 16 August.

Words by: Jonathan Frahm