3. “Butterflies” by Gayle
Along with Hayley Williams and Olivia Rodrigo, Gayle is a key player in pop’s current emo-punk obsession.
At its best, the genre’s revival draws its power from feminine rage (think Paramore’s “This Is Why,” Rodrigo’s “Good 4 U” and Gayle’s own “Abcdefu”), which is precisely what makes “Butterflies” an unskippable cut on the “Barbie” soundtrack.
Remember being 11 years old and pissed off, but you didn’t know why? Remember when you didn’t have the words to explain the poison, so instead, you burned your Barbie’s hair and threw her down the stairs? That’s what this song sounds like.
The Crazy Town interpolation really brings it home. “Butterfly” was a big radio hit in the early aughts, boasting lyrics like “Such a sexy, sexy pretty little thing” and “The only thing I really know is she got sex appeal.”
For those of us who survived the 2000s, that era of thigh-gap worship and shameless objectification, “Butterfly” may conjure some unpleasant memories. But Gayle’s vengeful reclamation of Crazy Town’s chorus (“You’re my butterfly, sugar, baby”) feels like a triumph. In her hands, femininity evokes strength, not weakness.