Singer and songwriter Cautious Clay's new song, "Reaching," is full of a vibrant and optimistic bounce, but it's really about the pettiness of a partner who wants to see him at his lowest moments. It's the first taste of the soundtrack for the fourth season of Issa Rae's Insecure, and it tells a micro-story within itself that's easy to follow yet hard to stomach.
You feel there for the frustrations, the arguments about wanting attention. We all get exactly where Clay is coming from.
The bubbly song, that comes with an adorable animated clip, features singer Alex Isley — who Clay knows through a mutual friend — as the venomous voice opposite him, softly explaining to him that it doesn't matter if he calls her petty. "I refuse to let you ruin mine," she carols about her day, her head turned to the sky.
Clay softly tries to remove himself from this stuck spot he's in now that the argument's flipped. "This the type of shit you on," he sings, practically disgusted. His mind replays the different situations in their relationship on a loop and he begins to realize that things have always been kind of bad, whether he wanted to accept it or not. "You want to act impatient every time I come around / Every time I wear the crown," comes out of his mouth softly, but it feels like a seething rage being withheld.
The song's optimistic and smooth ending leads listeners to believe that things will eventually get better. Maybe it'll be because of relationship therapy or the two learning to appreciate each other's company as well as show mutual respect.
Clay, who previously had his song "Cold War" appear in Insecure's third season, told MTV News via email that the path to the song's release for the show's soundtrack has been winding back over the last two years. "It's an idea that I started back in February of 2018 when I got sent a track that Jahaan Sweet originally made with a chorus that Syd from The Internet wrote," he wrote. "For a moment, it looked like it was going to land in an episode of Lena Waithe's Boomerang show on BET back in January of 2019 but ultimately it didn't stick."
"Fast forward a year later and we got a call from Kier Lehman, who picks the music for Insecure along with Issa," Clay continued, calling himself a fan of the show. "He felt he had the perfect spot for it in the first episode of Season 4. I was really happy when it all came together and the track found the perfect home."
Check out Clay and Isley's "Reaching" up above and tune into the new season of Insecure on April 12 at 10 p.m. EST on HBO.