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Concert Photography

Sam Houston at The Far Out Lounge

Sam Houston performed this Friday night at the Far Out Lounge in Austin, TX. The event was socially distanced and masks were required. You can check out the photos below:

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Interviews

Artist Interview: Skandra

Alexandra Duparc, known by her stage name Skandra, is a multitalented creator and musician. Her new single Rivers is amassing streams by the thousands, thanks to her husband’s viral TikTok video. We talked with Skandra about her life, career, new music, and upcoming projects. Check out the interview below.

Crowdsurfer: Tell us how you got started playing and writing music.

Skandra: I wrote my first song when I was twelve. It was after discovering Cat Power’s album You Are Free. It felt like the perfect avenue to express myself as I didn’t feel like facing my journal that day. I lost a loved one and wanted to say goodbye in song. I started my first band that year. I’ve been writing and playing music ever since.

CS: We found you from your husband’s viral TikTok video. How has his support helped you gain traction with your latest release?

S: It’s been quite an adventure. His video changed my life. Skandra has received over 2 million streams across streaming platforms, the music video views keep going up and almost every major label on earth contacted me within 48 hours. I don’t know what any of this means quite yet but I’m beyond joyous and floored to have a real fanbase to release my upcoming music to. It’s been absolutely beautiful. I love Ylane. Not only as my husband but truly the definition of a best friend.

@ylaneduparc

This could change her life… Help me help her 🥺🔥

♬ original sound – ylaneduparc

CS: What was your inspiration behind Rivers?

S: Rivers is about the admission that though something may feel like true love, it’s obviously destined to end. It sorts through thought processes I had throughout that prior relationship. It’s about finding strength in this admission and being okay with it. The chorus lines “Where these rivers go, I fear we’re better off dead and since we don’t know, let’s learn with the current” really hit home to me in this time and place. 

CS: What inspires you musically? Who are some artists or songs you’re loving right now?

S: I get inspired by people, mostly. I’m such a writer that I tend to start with the written before melodic. As for music that I’m listening to right now – I’ve been delving into some older albums for inspiration such as Son Lux, Alice Boman’s first EP and Dawn Golden.

CS: What’s your dream collaboration?

S: I’ve said this before and I think if I say it enough times, it’ll make sense but I’d love to collaborate with Miranda July. She’s such a soul and whether it was sonic or visual, it’d be a dream collaboration.

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CS: What are your favorite songs or lyrics you’ve written?

S: I really love this line in “Ashes” that goes “I’m a girl with all these dreams. So, if you give me a match, you should expect a flame. So, here’s the fire that ends us again” and then I yell, “and I hope the whole world becomes covered in the ashes!” It’s the perfect metaphor for letting go of a toxic past and asserting my desire to become all I’ve ever expected of myself.

CS: How have you been spending quarantine – writing or recording any new songs?

S: I founded and run an organization in Los Angeles called Treehouse. It’s an art community that has popped-up monthly for over 5 years. We expose underexposed artists. When the pandemic hit, we canceled all our live events planned for the year. I launched the Quarantine Concert on Instagram. We had over 50 thousand musicians partake including Walk The Moon, The Griswolds and Meg Meyers. It was beautiful seeing all this intimate creation. Later, we began interviewing artists on their work through a series called Dialogue. We focused on spotlighting Black voices. I fundraised for families in Guatemala, the LA Food Bank and the NPAP. Now, Skandra has been launched into the world and has gone viral on TikTok and garnering over 2 million streams across streaming services. I just spent an extremely sanitized 10 days in the studio and have some really great new tracks in the works. We’ve got a wonderful road ahead.

CS: What are your plans for the rest of the year and onward?

S: We decided to give back to those who help launch Skandra to over 2 million streams. So, we’re giving out 100 mystery boxes. They consist of inside jokes from the TikTok video, games, gifts, limited merchandise, Nintendo DS, iPhone, polaroid cameras and more. We figure that we can take what Spotify is going to pay out and give back to those who supported it.

Anna Azarov Photography

I’m going to focus on finishing the next release. There’s this rebellious side of me that wants to continue independently and try to accomplish some things that few musicians have. I like paving new roads. A damn the man, save the empire kind of thing.

CS: What do you hope people get from listening to your music?

S: I love it when people tell me that they put on headphones and listen to it with their eyes closed. That says it all. My favorite music makes me do that. To be that for anyone else is a dream.

CS: Where can people find you on social media?

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/skand.ra/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCseJgo-gesPvY-qRQifPJjw

TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@skand.ra

Website: https://skandra.net/

Categories
Music News Reviews

Yours Truly To Release New Album “Self Care”

Sydney pop-punk band Yours Truly is releasing their highly anticipated debut album Self Care this week, and we wanted to give you the inside scoop on the album, the writing process for the band, and our favorite tracks!

After massive success from their 2019 EP Afterglow (which has over 8.5 million streams), they were excited to jump back in and work on their first full length album.

“There was this almost electric feeling of excitement about getting to sit down and write our first record but also a huge feeling of anxiety at the same time,” comments vocalist Mikaila Delgado. “We didn’t want to release something and have people say that we’re actually not that good and weren’t worthy of all the success we were getting… it was like we all had imposter syndrome.”

The theme of the album is self care, and is focused on living, learning and the healing process that we’re all still trying to figure out.

“We very much felt like we were in the deep end. It was a huge learning curve, I had to grow up a lot in this time and hold myself together, often feeling so many emotions all stitched into me that I couldn’t comprehend. I definitely felt guilty about being sad when I should have been grateful for how fortunate I had been.”

Self Care is impressive from start to finish, with catchy beats, bold vocals and that classic pop-punk vibe. The album’s lead single Siamese Souls starts strong and punchy and sets up the mood for the album.

Vivid Dream reminds us of our favorite We The Kings or All Time Low song, while still retaining their signature sound. We couldn’t stop nodding our head to the beat. The album rounds out with a slower moment in the acoustic ballad Half Of Me, and finishes with Heartsleeve, where Mikaila sings, “Say I’m not the one who makes you feel the sun. Do you find yourself ashamed to come undone?”

“I wanted to wear my heart on my sleeve with the album and be completely transparent about how I felt, and now I realise that I pulled through and life really is a constant wheel of highs and lows. I’ve learnt to bask in the highs when they’re around.”

The cover art was designed by Sydney-based artist and photographer Georgia Moloney. It’s a cross-stitched human heart with flowers emerging from it, and arms wrapping around it like a hug.

“We really learnt and lived a lot in one year, and writing these songs allowed me to understand myself on a whole new level throughout it all,” Mikaila closes.

“The experience was a true form of self-care that ended with me feeling stronger, smarter, enlightened and positive after a rollercoaster of emotions. For me, this album was my version of soaking in vanilla candles and that comforting taste of chocolate and red wine under blankets. We hope it brings solace to whoever listens to it and can relate too.”

This album had us wishing that we were at a Yours Truly concert rocking out to all their new jams. Yours Truly have created a fabulous album, and we’re so excited for you guys to hear it soon!

The album is set to release on Friday. Grab a copy here.

Yours Truly – Self Care Tracklist

1. Siamese Souls
2. Composure
3. Together
4. Vivid Dream
5. Undersize
6. Ghost
7. Funeral Home
8. Glass Houses
9. Half Of Me
10. Heartsleeve

Categories
Music News

Get Hyped for Abracadabra Livestream

If you’re looking for another fun livestream music festival for this weekend, look no farther than Abracadabra Fest, which will be streaming on Twitch from the Los Angeles Theatre.

You’re not going to want to miss it. Why? Because T-Pain is leading a live palm reading session. There’s also a Self Care section of the fest, and 100% of the proceeds will be donated to non-profits.

Check out the lineup below.

Categories
Interviews

Artist Interview: Emily Deahl

You will not find a more creative artist or adventurer than Emily Deahl. Confident and resilient, she’s been working at getting her name in the industry for quite a few years now. Deahl initially thought she wanted to be a dancer, and after she moved to LA at 17, she realized dance wasn’t her passion: music was. After getting a deal to perform pop music in China off and on for a few years, Deahl spent some time in Charleston before deciding to move to Nashville to focus on songwriting and her sound.

She worked on learning new instruments, recorded two albums of music, and kept practicing. “It just became all about doing things I was afraid of, pushing myself outside of my comfort zone and getting better. I was like, I want to be sure I’m not giving anyone a reason to tell me no anymore.” In Charleston, her sound became very singer-songwriter, but it didn’t quite fit, in the same way the LA pop sound wasn’t the right sound for her either. “I realized, I’m somewhere in the middle of both of these.”

She’s been in Nashville for the past year, working toward releasing the new music she recorded with a producer in Charleston. After just joining TikTok in February, she found her videos going viral one after another. That’s when she realized “I can actually promote my music on this app.” She brainstormed and came up with the idea to “do outrageous sh*t to get my song into the Top 100 on iTunes.”

“Everyone told me that was an impossible goal, so I thought, if I want to get it, I’m going to have to do something outlandish and crazy, and what better place to do that than TikTok?”

On Day 1, she highjacked a grocery store’s overhead speakers to tell shoppers to stream her new single My Baby Hates Me. Day 2, she stopped traffic in Nashville, Day 3 she hid pink boxes at radio stations around town, on Day 5 she called an ex-fling that she wrote the song about, and this weekend she (with the help of her fans) tried to convince Diplo to remix her song. Talk about hustle.

@emilydeahl

Reply to @njm3443 Follow to keep up with this sh*t show. Stream My Baby Hates Me now! #NotTheOne #BiggestFan #manifestation #music #singer #dating

♬ original sound – emilydeahl

But that’s not the only focus of her creativity. “I have a lot of conceptual ideas behind what I do. I’ve written two children’s books about the music I’ve created under the alias I sometimes call myself ‘The Ice Cream Girl’. In my most recent children’s book “The Ice Cream Girl Presents Ghost Stories” I walk you through my first EP where each chapter of the story has a coinciding song.” 

“There’s so many things that have inspired me over the course of figuring out who “me” is. I have so much creative energy and lately I’ve been saying that it feels like finally I’m proud of what I’m doing and everything is just exploding out of me. I can’t even keep up with all the ideas that are in my head right now.”

Many eclectic musicians have inspired Emily along thee way, such as Jack white, Lady Gaga, Freddie Mercury and Elvis.

“I’ve always been inspired by theater and musicals. Mostly I think I get inspiration from things that are just authentically themselves. I also think it’s every artist’s duty. We listen to music because we want to be set free. And the only way you can do that is if you’re listening, watching or reading something that’s real, that’s coming from a vulnerable place. And that, in turn, as a fan, I am inspired by those people who who are unapologetic about it.”

Photo by Shania Houchens @shaniahouchens 

After about a week of doing outrageous sh*t on TikTok, Deahl had an awesome moment: 107.5 The River radio station played My Baby Hates Me.

“When the radio station here played it, I said ‘this is the best moment of my life’ and I was not kidding. I couldn’t sleep that night. It was so validating for so many reasons. For all of these years I’ve been like, ‘I want to do this my way.’

“I hate the rules that the music industry has. Everyone told me it would take 10 years for that radio station to play my song. I was like, ‘No, I don’t have that amount of time. I’m going to figure out how to do it in one.’ And it’s all coming full circle now. I’m so glad that I stuck to my gut and did it my way and made the music from my honest place.”

We can’t stop playing My Baby Hates Me. If you haven’t heard it yet, head over to her Spotify to check out her music. Big thanks to Emily for sitting down with us to chat! You can follow Emily on TikTok here and Instagram here.

Categories
Interviews

Artist Interview: Sloane

If you’re in the mood for some vibey electro-pop beats that have been dubbed “music to cry to while you smile,” then you’re going to need to stop everything and listen to jazz-musician-turned-solo-artist Sloane.

The moniker Sloane was created by LA-bred Nick Rosen. He discovered jazz as a teen and spent all his time practicing bass. Rosen then joined the TV and film side of music, helping record and produce scores for Super 8, Star Trek, LOST and more.

He then served as music director at LA nightclubs and hotspots Bardot and The Sayers Club, where he ended up performing with the likes of Prince, Will.i.am, Jamie Foxx, Bruno Mars, and more.

As if all that wasn’t enough, he’s become an accomplished producer and engineer along the way, including working with Phantogram, Tinashe, and others. We had a chance to spend some time talking to Sloane about his new music, songwriting, and what’s coming up for him in the next few months. Check out the interview below.

Crowdsurfer: Where’d you come up with the name Sloane?

Sloane: Originally I wanted to call myself Sloane Peterson based off the girl I had a crush on in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. That didn’t work so I decided to call myself Sloane.

CS: Talk a little bit about the idea for wearing the mask and how that originated.

Sloane: I was thinking about ‘How can I give someone an experience? How can they experience the music as an entity not me as a person?’ I thought it would be interesting and I’ve never seen someone wear their own pixelated face as a mask.

All of my songs are like breakup emo love songs and I like the idea that when you breakup with someone your whole world is almost pixelated because you’re seeing it fragmented and you’re seeing yourself less clearly. With that being said, whatever people think it is, that’s it too. As soon as you make something, it’s out into the world and it doesn’t belong to you anymore.

CS: What made you want to break out and create some songs as a solo artist?

Sloane: The last decade I’ve been working with other artists and I really like supporting other songs. I went through a classic really bad breakup in 2018 and I started writing some new songs. I wrote Old Hands New Face which was the first song I released as Sloane. My buddy Thomas was working at this label called SideOneDummy with Bill (Armstrong). He said, “We know that you’re working with a bunch of bands, can you send us who you dig in LA?” So I sent him around 30 songs, and I put Old Hands New Face in there, and they were like, “Well that’s great, would love to sign that!”

And I was like, “Shit.” I didn’t have any more songs yet. So that’s why the EP I released last year have mostly other people singing. A lot of them were songs that I took from sessions and I produced them and made them work, but it wasn’t fully me yet. So it was almost having to make up a project by accident.

CS: How has it been transitioning from writing and producing with other people to writing for yourself?

Sloane: The song that I just released a few weeks ago called Down From Here was just me and it was super personal just writing for me and that’s why it feels spiritually better. But I also feel like I still have a lot more to go. I’m writing and finding a sound and I’m in a crazy inspired period right now where I’m just writing constantly. I’ve already turned in like eight new songs to my label and I just want to keep going.

CS: What are some of the things that inspire you?

Sloane: Non-musically, I practice Buddhism which is a huge part of my life. I love the idea of simultaneous cause and effect and the lotus blooms and seeds at the same time. So I love the idea that as soon as I’m making a cause, it creates an effect. With music, as soon as I do something it’s created something else. And I like the idea of a moment. To me, music is a perpetual quest to create clearer and hopefully be open enough to capture moments. So that’s exciting to me on a life level of what inspires me to create.

I have a tattoo of this guy named Albert Ayler who I’d be surprised if anyone listening to this knew who he was. He was a really Avant Garde sax player. While my music doesn’t sound anything like that, I think I took the freedom of expression in that. So that inspires me a lot, just being free to be whatever. Those are two big aspects for me.

As far as music, I’m super inspired by anything these days. Anything that I think is real I love. I love The 1975 right now, I’ve been loving the new Taylor Swift album. Bon Iver and The National are like my two all-time favorite bands, so I love that Aaron Dessner did that album. I try to study Max Martin because he’s a genius and I want to know how you make all these hits.

CS: Talk a little bit about the dichotomy between the upbeat nature of your songs and the lyrical content which has a heavier theme.

Sloane: I like the idea that you can be having a fucked up day but yet you push yourself to dance. So the pre-chorus for Down From Here goes, “Everybody else seems happy waking up with someone else / Good for them I wish them well, maybe I just hate myself / The south of France could be Mojave, looks the same in Abu Dhabi / Feeling that’s inside my body wouldn’t wish on anybody.”

So it’s a pretty dark statement, but in a fun way and to me I just like the idea that it is really dark but hopefully people can hear a hopefulness in the fact that they can connect with it, but then maybe relate and move forward.

CS: We’re excited to hear some new music soon from you. What’s next for you in the upcoming year?

Sloane: I’m trying to really focus on what I want my next year to be. So the artists I want to work with next year, focusing on sessions. My label and I want to do another EP. I want to do another album too called “Will You Be My Friend?” and just do Sloane plus friends on every song. And I want to do half of it as children’s songs.

I also work with Phantogram a lot so we have a few things that are about to come out that are Sloane and Phantogram. I’ll probably do some touring with them next year and maybe try to book some of my own shows as well.

Big thanks to Sloane for chatting with us. You can follow Sloane on Instagram here and check out his latest music here.

Categories
Interviews Music News

Artist Interview: Give Me A Reason

Zurich based pop-punk band Give Me A Reason has a brand new single called Sad and we’re loving it. We asked the band a few questions about the new song, new music in the works, and plans for the future. Check out the interview below!

Crowdsurfer Mag: We’re obsessed with “Sad” and the music video! We heard it was shot at the Supercandy Pop-Up Museum in Germany. What was the filming process like and how long did it take to film? It must have been a ton of fun!

Give Me A Reason: It was a pretty exhausting day, since we shot for 17h straight, but we got an amazing video out of it, and something you’ll find out very soon! Marc, from Stardust Visuals, did an amazing job, and made it so easy for us! It was a great experience.

CS: What has the response been to the single and music video and what has that meant to you guys? 

GMAR: We got a great response to the track and the music-video, we really didn’t expect this reaction! We are overwhelmed and extremely thankful!

CS: You’ve been compared to All Time Low and incorporating pop/punk vibes in your music. Who are some of your musical influences? What are your favorite artists/songs at the moment?

GMAR: To be compared with All Time Low is unbelievable, since we’re such an upcoming band and we listen to ATL since the beginning. We’re listening to bands like Neck Deep, State Champs and Point North, plus many more, on a regular basis. We also had different influences which go beyond the type of music we make, like Chase Atlantic, Røyls and The Band Camino.

CS: Tell us about flying to LA to record your new music. What was the songwriting and recording process like? Where do you find inspiration?

GMAR: It was an extraordinarily experience to fly out to the ultimate pop-punk city LA. The city itself gave us a lot of inspiration, to be in a different environment – One of the things that helped the process a lot, was meditating, because it helped us reset our minds and made us focus on the direction we wanted to move towards.

We had the great honor to work with Blake Roses, producer at Pastel Recording and former vocalist of “Oh, Weatherly”. We wrote and recorded eight songs in nine days, and we didn’t feel any pressure at any time. 

CS: What are you most excited about for the release of Vice Versa?

GMAR: We’re looking forward to showing everyone what we’ve been working on for so long. We can’t wait to share the experience that we have, when we play the songs in the bandroom, with everyone at the live shows. 

CS: Are you working on any more covers/new music during quarantine?

GMAR: Maaaaaaaybe, just stay tuned!

CS: Anything else you want to share?

GMAR: While answering this interview we were all sitting in our underwear, and i don’t know why.

You can check out Give Me A Reason on Instagram here and YouTube here, and definitely go listen to their new single, Sad!

Categories
Interviews Music News

Abigail Barlow on “Heartbreak Hotel” and her new EP

If you haven’t heard the lyrics, “I don’t need a boyfriend, that shit’s full time employment,” then you probably have been living under a rock. That’s the first line of the uber-catchy song Heartbreak Hotel written by Abigail Barlow. She posted a video of the song with the caption, “I can’t sleep so I wrote something new.” It has over a million likes on TikTok.

Crowdsurfer: So let’s start with Heartbreak Hotel. It totally blew up on Tiktok with almost 4 million views! What inspired you to write the song?
Abigail Barlow: I wrote Heartbreak Hotel after meeting and casually talking to a dude that was buying me gifts, and I got a lil scared. Heartbreak Hotel was just inspired by my trust issues and how I’m simply not ready for a potential heartbreak any time soon LOL. 
CS: What was your reaction to it taking over Tiktok?
AB: Seeing comments that said “This is a hit release it now” was pretty overwhelming but SO insanely cool. It felt like the internet just sort of rallied and said “okay this is what we’re doing right? Let’s blow this song up!” And I couldn’t be more grateful for that. 


CS: Who are your musical influences? Who would you love to collab with one day?
AB: I don’t really like comparing myself to other artists, but because I produce a lot of my own stuff, I love talking about my musical and sound influences. I love the Max Martin era 2010 pop that dominated the radio waves a few years ago. I miss the era of Teenage Dream and 1989 SO much that I decided to sprinkle my music production with all the good old bubblegum pop vibes I could. If I could collab with one person it would definitely be Max Martin.
CS: Tell us about your EP coming out on August 14th. What songs will we get to hear and what’s the vibe of it?


AB: The vibe is pop. Purposeful, playful pop. I don’t take my music or myself too seriously, and I think that’s what makes it so fun to listen to. The bad b*tch inside your head gets a moment to speak up on my EP! And I give you a little taste of everything with the tracks, including an absolute BANGER I had the pleasure of writing with Meghan Trainor!
CS: Anything else you want to share with us?

AB: I’m just so beyond thrilled to finally be releasing music the way I want, and I just want to encourage any aspiring indie artists to do the same. It is TOTALLY possible for all of your dreams to come true. So do not ever give up on yourself or your art.  

You can follow Abigail on TikTok here and Instagram here, and keep an eye out because her EP comes out on August 14th!

Categories
Music News Reviews

Taylor Swift Drops Surprise Album “Folklore”

Taylor Swift surprised everyone today by dropping a surprise new album at midnight. Here’s the track listing of Folklore, ranked by our favorite songs so far.

The 1

This song is the first on the album, and it’s one of the best. The simple beat leads us into where Taylor mind is at the start of the album. She’s doing her own thing, but reflecting on a lost love. “But it would’ve been fun if you would’ve been the one.”

Cardigan

This whimsical song tells the story of a love that felt like an old cardigan. It was the first music video that premiered at midnight when the album dropped, and shows Taylor hopping into a piano to visit a wonderland, before it turns into a stormy ocean. “And when I felt like I was an old cardigan under someone’s bed, you put me on and said I was your favorite.”

Illicit Affairs

This powerful song is about having a secret relationship, and the toll it takes. “And that’s the thing about illicit affairs and clandestine meetings and longing stares, It’s born from just one single glance but it dies and it dies and it dies a million little times.”

Invisible String

This seems like it must be an ode to her partner Joe, and how all along they were meant to be. We especially love the reference to the colors, and how the string is gold (referencing Daylight on her previous album.) “All along there was some invisible string tying you to me.”

August

August, the eighth song on the album (clever) is about a lost love. We’re in love with the outro. “August slipped away into a moment in time, ’cause it was never mine”

Mirrorball

This vintage-inspired song was co-written by Jack Antonoff and is about accepting a lover for the way they are, “mirrorball” referencing a disco ball. “I’m a mirrorball, and I’ll show you every version of yourself tonight.”

Exile

This song features Bon Iver, who actually starts out the song. The lyrics describe the awful feeling of seeing your ex after a breakup. They each share different perspectives of the relationship, and piano keys highlight the heavy lyrics. “You were my crown, now I’m in exile, seein’ you out, I think I’ve seen this film before so I’m leaving out the side door.”

Betty

This sweet acoustic number is the story of our main character, seventeen year old James, who had a fling with a girl named Betty. Something unfortunate happens, although she doesn’t tell us what, and James spends the summer thinking about Betty. In typical Taylor Swift fashion, he shows up at her party to try to win her back. “But if I just showed up at your party, would you want me? Would you tell me to go fuck myself or lead me to the garden? In the garden would you trust me if I told you it was just a summer thing? I’m only seventeen, I don’t know anything, but I know I miss you.”

Peace

Another autobiographical song, this seems to be about Taylor trying to come to terms with the fact that being her partner will always be tumultuous. The simple tempo and electric guitar on this song hold it together with contemplative lyrics. “All these people think love’s for show, but I would die for you in secret.”

My Tears Ricochet

This song was the first written for the album, and is about a relationship ending. It is reminiscent of Teardrops on my Guitar thematically. “Cursing my name, wishing I stayed, look at how my tears ricochet.”

Seven

The seventh song on the album, this is about being seven years old and how beautiful that simplicity is. “Passed down like folk songs, our love lasts so long.”

This Is Me Trying

This ballad is that classic situationship when you’re broken up with someone and trying to figure out how to deal with it. The narrator breaks down, drives to their house, and says, “And I just wanted to you know that this is me trying.”

Mad Woman

Taylor highlights the classic paradox with women in society: they are immediately considered “mad” or “angry” or “upset” when they show their emotion. This song highlights the double standard, in a new folksy spin. She also whispers “fuck you forever” in the song, so we’re here for it. “No one likes a mad woman, what a shame she went mad, you made her like that.”

Hoax

A heartbreaking song, Hoax deals with many themes Taylor has covered in past albums, like believing in someone who lets her down, and the heartbreak of losing love. Her perfectly rhyming lyrics match her soft voice in this song. “Don’t want no other shade of blue but you, no other sadness in the world would do.”

The Last Great American Dynasty

This song highlights Taylor’s unique ability for storytelling within songs. It’s focused on real-life Rebekah Harkness, who was an eccentric woman in the 1900s. The song ends with Swift writing “And then it was bought by me.” She loves highlighting strong, loud and powerful women, and bringing them in to her own story. This song is no exception, and we love it.

Epiphany

The 13th song on the album, Epiphany, is a narrative Swift wrote about her grandfather in the war. It’s a haunting story of the horrors of war, and her voice is soft and eerie. “Only twenty minutes to sleep, but you dream of some epiphany.”

You can stream the album here, and watch the music video for Cardigan below.

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Reviews

Quinn XCII’s New Album “A Letter To My Younger Self”

Mikael Temrowski, better known by his stage name, Quinn XCII, has released his highly anticipated third album A Letter To My Younger Self this week. He says that since his second album, From Michigan With Love, he’s become more centered, the music has gotten more polished and also a little more retro.

We’re big Quinn stans at Crowdsurfer, and we wanted to highlight our favorite parts of the album for new listeners. The album focuses on the nostalgia of high school age and that youthful spirit you have when you’re young and dealing with first love and learning how to navigate through life. Here’s a track by track analysis of the album, we hope you enjoy it!

Am I High Rn (Ft. blackbear)

The title track of the album delivers with a chill beat and a rad second verse by blackbear. The song deals with a mental battle between anxiety and depression, where the subject is trying to decide, “Am I paranoid of being myself? Is my brain overworking itself? Or am I just high right now?”

Favorite Lyric:

If you’re scared, go to church
If you’re shook, meditate
If you’re hurt, just vibe
If you’re mad, walk away, what you think?

Stacy

Written with Jon Bellion, Michael Pollack, and Jodgen Odegard, Stacy is about a no-strings-relationship in high school, and the different emotions that go with trying to deal with it. This was the first single off the album, released in June 2019, and its catchy beat is in opposition to the emotional emptiness of the lyrics.

Favorite Lyric:

You can call me ‘Stacy,’ you can call me ‘love’
You can call me ‘baby’ and all of the above
You can call me late night and I’ll be at your door
You can call me anything, oh, anything you want
Just don’t call me yours

Sleep While I Drive (Ft. Ashe)

This song has major vintage vibes, and we were delighted to find out that Ashe sang on the track as well. Sleep While I Drive is about wanting to get away from all the stress of everyday life, and the daydream of just packing up and driving away.

Favorite Lyric:

If you need me, I can carry the weight
Sweetheart, with you, I know I’m okay
Oh, ’cause home is with you, no matter the place

Second Time Around

This emotional ballad is one Quinn believes is his most powerful song yet. “It’s a song about self-reflection and self-forgiveness. I can be vulnerable, but it’s the first time I’ve shown fans I want to talk about God in my songs. Show them a side of me that’s very raw. Show them I’ve done some things that I’m not proud of in the past, but you can change the way you act as soon as you want to.” (via Flaunt Magazine)

Favorite Lyric:

When I’m asking life for another chance
Before they put me in the ground
Lord, I swear I will do my best
On my second time around
I will live nothing like my past
I will make my mother proud
There will be no mistakes on my
Second time around

Coffee by Quinn XCII & Marc E. Bassy

Coffee is Quinn’s first collaboration with Marc E. Bassy, and notably, the music video for the project was shot during complete lockdown of quarantine, so his wife Macy helped film it from their home on an iPhone. The song is about lamenting for a lover who has gone, and wondering if they will come back.

Favorite Lyric:

I just made two cups of coffee
But you’re not here to drink it now
Forgot you left before the morning
Guess I’ll never know who you were thinkin’ ’bout

Notice Me

This song reminds us of the friction that comes with being a young person trying to figure out the world and yourself. You want to be noticed, to make an impact, to get out of this small town and change the world. Quinn nails it on this throwback track.

Favorite Lyric:

You stand in the middle
Always surrounded like the Sun
And I’m stuck stranded on planets
Where I swear I’m the only one who notices me
Somebody notice me

A Letter to My Younger Self by Quinn XCII & Logic

This song is CATCHY with a capital C. Jazz notes surround a chorus highlighting how when life gets too overwhelming, maybe you can listen to this song and it helps. Quinn is vulnerable enough to bring up difficult topics and put positivity into the world, and this song is at the core of that philosophy.

Favorite Lyric:

Don’t get too far in your own head when you shout
We’ll smile in front of all the things we used to worry about
And I know it may not seem like it, but we figured out
How to live on the run when your heart weighs a ton

More Than Friends

This song is about regretting not telling your crush about your feelings before they start dating someone else. Sometimes you just want to be more than friends. Quinn rapidly raps the verses and adds his signature flair to the song.

Favorite Lyric:

It’s a field day
But not in the sense that we’re in elementary
More like I’m-in-my-feels day

Mad At Me

Interestingly enough, Mat At Me was inspired by the Pixar movie Up. This slow ballad is about a couple where one partner has passed away, and the other is trying to sort through those emotions. It’s heartfelt and moving for sure.

Favorite Lyric:

I still ask the hostess if she can save our favorite seats
And take some bread to that old park bench
For the local birds to eat
Then I go back to that king-sized bed
But it’s way too big for me

Two 10s

This groovy song will have you bouncing along as you’re listening to it, and it proves that sometimes the best songs keep it simple. The song is about a kid wanting to go out with his friends, but he has to convince his parents to give him a $20 (aka two 10s). It’s definitely one of our favorites on the album.

Favorite Lyric:

Listen, I just need a twenty for a real good time
Two tens, I’m not tryna go crazy

Meeting Strangers

This song is about being not over someone, confused about a new love interest, and just needing space to be alone. There’s a fun singalong of “la-la-la-la-la-la-la” at the bridge that we can get behind, and it builds up to a bop at the end.

Favorite Lyric:

You’re making small conversations
Feel like days at a time
My not-so-sly observations
Could stain white beds like red wine

Everything I Need

This song is the perfect ending to the album. It showcases Quinn’s soothing vocals and focuses on enjoying the moment before it’s all over. Everything I Need rounds out the album with a jazzy ending and a perfect line: “Good friends, good memories, That’s all I need.”

Favorite Lyric:

Let’s throw a party if this is really over
Invite all your friends, even the ones that hate me
‘Cause after tonight, everything else is uncertain
But everything I need’s in front of me

Quinn is performing songs from the new album on Facebook today, and you can check it out here.

Stream A Letter To My Younger Self here.