Lin-Manuel Miranda’s ‘Encanto’ song “Surface Pressure” broke us

Welcome to Thanks, I Love It, our sequence highlighting one thing onscreen we’re obsessive about this week.

It has been an enormous 12 months for Lin-Manuel Miranda. He gained an Emmy for the video-recording of his Broadway hit Hamilton. His different Broadway hit, In The Heights, was cheered by critics as a joyous film musical. Then got here his implausible characteristic directorial debut with one other Broadway musical adaptation, tick, tick…Growth! And he is turned out not one, however two animated film musicals. In Vivo, Miranda not solely lent his voice to the eponymous kinkajou but in addition co-wrote its songs. Then, final however not least, got here Encanto, a spectacular Disney musical wherein he will get a narrative by credit score and full credit score for all its songs, foolish, candy, and mawkish. So, yeah. Massive 12 months. But in all of this, my absolute favourite Miranda creation of 2021 is arms down the crushing bop that’s “Floor Strain.” 

Encanto facilities on the magical household Madrigal, the place everybody besides plucky protagonist Mirabel possesses a superpower. However because the third technology comes of age, cracks start to seem within the facade of their enchanted casita, pushing Mirabel into an investigation into what’s dwindling their magic. She turns to her older sister Luisa, who’s muscle-bound and mighty. However Mirabel’s easy query of “what’s improper” pushes the sturdy huge sister right into a meltdown musical quantity, the place Luisa admits her fears and vulnerability.  

Sung by Jessica Darrow, “Surface Pressure” begins with a sequence of affirmations. 


“I am the sturdy one

I am not nervous

I am as robust because the crust of the earth is

I transfer mountains

I transfer church buildings

And I glow ‘trigger I do know what my price is”

However because the song strikes on, Luisa crumbles, confessing: 

“Below the floor

I really feel berserk as a tightrope walker in a three-ring circus

Below the floor

Was Hercules ever like ‘Yo, I do not wanna struggle Cerberus?’

Below the floor


I am prеtty positive I am nugatory if I am unable to be of sеrvice”

Whereas having fun with the imaginative execution of this song, which illustrates the load of the world that Luisa feels on her brawny shoulders, this final line hit me like a ton of bricks. She goes on to sing, deceptively coolly, of the “drip, drip, drip that’ll by no means cease.” (Woah.) She sings of the burden of duty in being the sturdy one, and in having to maintain your shit collectively as a result of it seems like everybody’s relying on you. So one little crack will deliver the entire home down. And it made me break into tears. 

It is a sentiment that is connecting to girls on TikTok, who’ve been utilizing an audio excerpt of “Floor Strain” to point out how they relate to Luisa’s inner battle. Over the song, some customers embody captions of anecdotes about carrying the emotional weight of being an older sister. Others lipsync to specific how this child’s film went abruptly for our necks. The general temper of this assortment of movies is aptly summarized by elkomixx, whose submit has the song play as she lays face down on the ground as above this caption looms, “Whenever you understand this song is not truly trending and your FYP is simply calling you out as an older sister with gifted child burnout.” 

Yeah. That half. 

Donkeys stand behind a curly-haired woman with glasses, who looks shocked.

Credit score: Disney

Seems, Miranda wasn’t talking for his personal expertise within the song. As a substitute, Luisa’s quantity is meant as a tribute to his huge sister. 

He instructed Variety:

“I’m the infant of the household. I’ve a sister who’s six years older, and he or she received a uncooked deal. That song is my love letter and apology to my sister for having it simpler. I watched my sister take care of the stress of being the oldest and carrying burdens I by no means needed to carry. I keep in mind my mother and father woke my sister as much as put collectively a He-Man playset for Christmas earlier than I awoke. They wished it to be totally assembled after I awoke on Christmas morning. I put all of that angst and all of these moments into Luisa.”

Daring, buff, stunning, with a beguiling swagger, Luisa is tribute. She’s a stunning imaginative and prescient of female power, whether or not she’s swatting boulders along with her hips or shouldering a drove of donkeys. However this song makes her messier, extra difficult, extra actual, and thereby a terrific illustration of what it means to be an enormous sister. 

In fact, there are joys in being an older sister. You get to look at your sibling develop up and be their confidante and their information within the weirder features of the world. You get to do stuff first (and let’s be trustworthy really feel fairly smug about it). However you additionally really feel this weight of being the one who’s speculated to set the instance, be sturdy, or mature, or good, or collectively, or no matter. It is a stress that may drip, drip, drip, fueled by duty, expectation, and even compliments. As a result of — as Luisa expresses — the presents that outline us can start to really feel like a entice. Like if we aren’t all the time sturdy, we have failed everybody. 

Whereas there’s plenty of beautiful songs in Encanto, there are none that hit more durable than that. 

So, cheers to Luisa, to her real-life inspiration, and to each huge sister who felt the wind knocked out of them by this supreme sucker punch of a song. And thanks for that, Lin. Actually. 

Encanto is now taking part in in theaters; streaming on Disney+ Dec. 24.

Show More

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button