Photo credit: Hannah Squires

It’s been said that jealousy is just love and hate at the same time; this concept is the foundation of “She Smiles,” the brand new single New York City-based singer/songwriter Annika Bennett.

“It’s a terrible truth, though I love her I would love to see her bleed,” sings New York City-based singer/songwriter Annika Bennett in her  “She Smiles.” Admittedly, the honey-dipped tone of Bennett’s vocals is a stark juxtaposition to the lyrics here, catching the listener off-guard in the most satisfying of ways.

“I wrote ‘She Smiles’ about being jealous of a friend, and trying to reckon with those feelings,” she comments. “Even though jealousy is universal, I find it’s so rarely talked about and acknowledged as a natural emotion. The process of writing about envy really allowed me to understand, accept, and move past it.”

The ASCAP award-winning Bennett began writing songs at the ripe old age of nine; at 18 years old, she dropped out of NYU’s Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music and moved to Nashville upon signing an artist development deal with Sony Records. After two years of label-booked co-writes, Bennett realized that her best songs were spawned out of solitude, prompting her to terminate the deal and become an independent artist–in the most literal sense. Her lyricism is bold and intuitive as she brazenly dives head-first in complicated subjects. And who among us hasn’t struggled with the green-eyed monster of jealousy? Songs like “She Smiles” reinforce the fact that we’re not alone and we’re all bound to the same desires and emotions because we’re human. And you know what? That’s okay.

Without further ado, East of 8th proudly presents “She Smiles” by Annika Bennett:

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