Priscilla Ahn’s single ‘Fine on the Outside’, for the Studio Ghibli film When Marnie Was There, is a subtle love letter to introverts. The song itself doesn’t feature any special sound effects, loud electric guitars, or even a beat from a drum. All you hear is a calm acoustic guitar, serene strings in the background, and Ahn’s gentle whisper soothing your ears. A simple song to say the least.
Drawing inspiration from her own experience of loneliness and anxiety, ‘Fine on the Outside’ captures the meaning of being alone and how one’s own imagination can ease the pain. It’s like a deeply personal Taylor Swift song, though Ahn’s single is somewhat more relatable. Rather than singing about ex-boyfriends or lost loves, Ahn sings about a time in her life when making friends was hard and she struggles with the anxiety of keeping to herself versus having a social life. It’s something most of us (even the most sociable) have dealt with at some point in time, hence the eponymous title ‘Fine on the Outside’.
What struck me the most was how much I connected to the song. Lyrics such as “I never had that man friends growing up / So I learned to be okay with just me” and “So I just sit in my room / After hours with the moon / And think of who knows my name” evoke a somber moment of reflection and loneliness. These are lyrics that speak to people who live inside their minds. I could personally relate to what she is feeling throughout the song. It tells the listener that sometimes it’s good to be alone when we feel uncomfortable by situations.
Overall, ‘Fine on the Outside’ is not a special song. Rather, it’s a unique melody good for self-reflection and nostalgia. Ahn’s soft voice and acoustic guitar complements the message she is trying to send. It is perfect to listen for that long drive home.
You can get the single or the accompanying album Just Know that I Love You available for purchase on iTunes.
Visit Priscilla Ahn’s website at www.priscillaahn.com.