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