“Shoestring” by Felix Ames feels like…
Making a fresh cup of coffee that cools off as you get lost in the music. Reading a book while taking the train downtown with windows that put the whole city on display. Closing your burning, tired eyes, and basking in the feeling of necessary rest. A hug from someone you love that turns into a sway to the beat. “Shoestring” feels like the sun beaming through your window and waking you up on a Saturday morning. Painting a picture, lighting candles, cooking dinner, whatever you do at 7 p.m. in the warm light of your home. Sitting in the library, doing work on a cloudy day or perusing through the bookshelves. A sun shower.
Listen to “Shoestring” with…
Your best friends, yourself, a person you’re in love with, the strangers in the diner, a friend laying on the beach towel next to yours, your pets, your grandparent/s, a new friend, “my friend Gabby, we both like that kind of music” (Sonia Chajet Wides ’25).
My favorite lyrics:
“Shit gets heavy when you carry the sins of your father” / “It ain’t easy being free” / “I’ll stay up the one time that I feel peace”
This past week, I listened to “Shoestring” while reading about reproductive justice and queer politics, sitting in Valentine Dining Hall in the morning sun, eating yogurt, waiting for my class to start, walking through campus, and writing this review. This song has a particular way of drawing your mind out of whatever you’re doing and urging your head to bop along, even though you don’t know the beat by heart yet. Ames’ lyrics have a particular way of relating to everything you’ve ever done and everything you do.
Ames’ soulful message comes through in the rhythm of the beat alone, magnified by his voice and words. I first found his music on my TikTok “For You” page, where he was promoting “Shoestring,” his debut single. The video featured him dancing to the chorus of the song. I was immediately sold, yet wholeheartedly disappointed when I realized the song had not been released yet. I quickly followed him on TikTok and other social media. As I waited for an announcement of the release, I hoped that the full song would live up to my expectations.
It did. Listening to “Shoestring” for the first time took me on a ride, floating effortlessly along steady waves of emotional warmth. Every time the song has come up on my shuffle since then, I have found myself unable to do anything but close my eyes, feel the beat in my ears, and hum to the rhythm. Since its release on Feb. 4, “Shoestring” has accumulated 450,000 streams on Spotify. On TikTok, Ames continues to build his fan base by teasing new music and sharing his goals for his career. His next single “SPF” comes out on Friday, March 11. From the teasers he’s posted on TikTok, it seems to be the perfect song for summer days in the park. To further paint the picture of Felix Ames’ artistry, and in one last attempt to convince you to tune in, I’ve included photos I’ve taken that perfectly capture the essence of “Shoestring.”
“Shoestring” looks like: