“This song is about coming to terms with a relationship being over. And the hard reality that you may never know where that person ends up or what they do. It’s about letting go. We brought this song to Tennis because it needed their nostalgic retro pop sound to help tell this story. And it needed to be cooler. Alaina’s sultry vocals tickle the ears throughout the track and the signature Tennis guitar sounds soothe along the lyrically heavy journey.”
Featuring guitar that is simultaneously upbeat and melancholic, drums and light synth work, the song opens with the wistful lyrics: “I’ve been working so hard to be out on my own / Exploring new places and trying to grow / But I keep thinking about a life I didn’t lead.” The song stays situated in these attempts to move forward while painstakingly looking back at the what-ifs. They also have to contend with the fact that the end of their relationship was a result of their actions (“I don’t know how I’m gonna love again / But it was my choice in the end.”)
The song’s consistent and pleasantly mellow production allow the lyrics to shine, delivered with excellent, harmonising vocals that convey the plaintive and straightforward sadness. There is also a certain element of bitter acceptance as the chorus goes: “Life goes on / We’ll never know / That’s the hardest part about letting you go.”
“The Hardest Part” is a smooth and appealing collaboration between two great indie-pop artists that allows a moment to indulge yourself on thoughts about an old flame. Ending with the lyrics “Nothing should feel the same / Nothing could feel the same,” there is a sense that an internal fight continues between life before and life after.
You can watch the music video for “The Hardest Part” below, or listen to the song on streamers.