Images from Quinn XCII
Quinn XCII released his newest album Change of Scenery II on March 5, 2021. This album is influenced by a previously released piece of work called ‘Change of Scenery’, bringing Quinn XCII back to his roots. This album took form in a state of literal change of scenery as it was recorded in Newport, Rhode Island. The entire album encompasses the sound and life located in a small beach town. Quinn XCII proves his range as an artist through this album compared to his other releases such as ‘From Michigan with Love’ in 2019. The album also features a few surprise guests and friends. Change of Scenery II gives the listener an inside look to a quiet life while making them feel like they are there at the making of the album.
The first track on the album is “We Made This In Newport” which is short and classified as an intro to the full album. This track is made up of tiny voice memos providing the listener with a personal touch of the experience behind making of the album. It truly encompasses the process in a condensed voice recording. Behind the quiet conversations provided through the voice memos is a serene progression of soft chords and vocals.
After the intro track is the song “Distracted Youth” which begins with a smooth guitar intro then adds in the vocals. This song connects to listeners on the basis and need to find some sort of meaning to life. The lyrical content includes lines such as “I’d rather find a temporary situation,” “Nobody is focused on the love,” and “I can’t look myself in the mirror.” These lines are all something that this generation can relate to. In times like the current everyone is searching for a sort of normalcy to focus on. The concept of needing a quick distraction especially in today’s youth is emphasized in this song. Quinn XCII showcases lyrics of the serious, heart retching nature and combines it with a soft instrumental background to make a calming song out of not so calming lyrics.
“My Wife & 2 Dogs” is the pick me up needed after the second track. Quinn XCII shows his faithful fans that he is not completely trading in his sound by emanating his sound found on previous albums. By Creating “My Wife & 2 Dogs” he encompasses a really cool aspect that is rare to come by in music nowadays: humor. The lyrics contain content that you cannot help but smile at when you listen. For example, the lines “This shit probably gonna by me a swimming pool,” “My money stretching like human centipede,” “Buy some real estate with all of these cool songs we made,” and so many more fun lines. The fun does not stop at the lyrics. In the music video, he can be seen scooting around on mopeds truly encompassing the north-eastern vibes. Along with the upbeat nature of the instrumental are a few added elements like a pre-recorded dog bark which is repeated throughout the track. Needless to say, this track is extremely unique.
The fourth track on Change Of Scenery II is a different kind of love song called “SOS.” What makes it different? While most love songs are slow and sappy, this one isn`t. Quinn XCII reinvents the classic love song to an upbeat love story. With a groovy guitar backtrack and a constant foot-tapping beat, he conveys an entire story within this one song. The story of him saving attempting to save his love from drowning in what appears to be a metaphorical body of water. He sings of coastguards, drowning, and floating which at first listen could be a very literal storyline for the song. After a few listens, one actually sees the body of water in the story as one’s stressors and overwhelming events that occur in day-to-day life. The lyric “Don’t you worry every second I`ll be here holding your necklace” convey the loyalty in every good love story. Once again “SOS” proves Quinn XCII’s artistry of creating a beautiful, musical masterpiece out of mismatched words.
“Hey, Goodbye” is the fifth song on the album. It begins with a progression of two notes changing pitch. This constitutes as an ear-catching way to catch the listener off guard. The lyrical content behind “Hey, Goodbye” is all about having a relationship and eventually losing it due to untold lies. Throughout the song is a sequence of echoing voices sprinkled randomly into the verses and choruses. An unusual musical element added to this song is what projects a similar sound to a sleigh bell. Quinn XCII normalizes that a relationship may seem perfect to one member of the love story, but the other could have a completely different perception on the situation. He portrays this moment of heartbreak through a soothing song with jazz undertones.
The next track on ‘Change Of Scenery II’ is “Doris Terrace” featuring Jeremy Zucker and ayokay. It begins with an ominous pinging and three-note progression. Giving this track a background instrumental that sounds like it was taken straight out of the 80s. The lyrics within the song is all about making progress despite all the driving forces that appear to be pulling you back to sadness. The lyrics “you can dance, you can cry, but the sun still shines on you” tells the listener no matter what is keeping you down try to look on the bright side. Sometimes life can drive someone to depression and we see that happening at a rising rate in today’s society. “Doris Terrace” is a sweet reminder to keep going. The voice memo featured at the end of the track sprinkles in that personal element that includes the listener in the making of the album.
“Stay Next to Me” featuring Chelsea Cutler was the first single to be released to create anticipation for Quinn XCII’s new album. Cutler is a close friend who has done collaborations with him before in multiple forms including singles and concerts. Quinn XCII proves this album is all about friends while keeping the sound serene with this track. This song returns to the upbeat backtrack and lyrics that encompass Quinn XCII’s traditional sound. The duet emanates a conversation between two people truly taking the time to get to know each other and basking in their presence. As long as this person is with you, you have a sense of happiness and relief.
Check out “Stay Next To Me” here:
The eighth track on this album is called “Mexico City”. This track begins with a voice memo for a slight couple of seconds then gets right into the beachy vibes of the song. Throughout the song, Quinn XCII shows his creativity within the lyrics and making them sound cohesive. The emphasized beats featured throughout the verses help tie the entire song together. Fun lyrics are once again featured throughout the song. Some include “she asked him if the president should get impeached”, “save up our paychecks by a new Benz”, and “try all the boujee little food trends”. These little lines make any song more exciting to listen to. It is no secret that this is a talent that comes naturally to Quinn XCII. “Mexico City” is one of those songs sure to be played at high volumes with the windows rolled down as a good-time summer song.
“Monday Morning” is another song that encompasses a sound from a different decade. There is hardly an intro before the song bursts into the same summer vibes from the previous song. Personal touches and samples are once again included in this track as in “My Wife & 2 Dogs”. You can hear claps, a bell ringing, and a series of notes played out on what provides a striking similarity to artistically hitting post and pans or glasses containing different levels of water. “Monday Morning” is one of the most defining songs on this album. It gives the listener and interesting listen as many everyday sounds make the song sound homemade in a super original way. Most songs found today sound too over-produced until they are seemingly perfect. This song does not sound perfect in the most amazing way possible, once again providing to the authentic feel of personally being at the making of the album.
The next track features another friend of Quinn XCII’s, Alexander 23. “We Don’t Talk Enough” is a song sure to relate to every listener. It is also a song to have a good cry to. The start of the song is a quiet strum of the guitar which carries throughout the entire track. The lyrical content of the song is the real star of the listen. Quinn XCII and Alexander 23 sing of the unavoidable situation of growing apart from your friends. As you grow older, you spend less and less time with one another because you all have different schedules likely in different places. The lyrics that are all too familiar include “all of my friends they’re all scattered,” “Me and my friends are losing touch,” and “all we share in common is that we don’t talk enough.” This song conveys the hard to swallow truth for many of us which is that people grow apart and it is no one’s fault because it is inevitable to keep the same friendship you had when in high school.
“Feel Something” is yet another example of a heartfelt song with an upbeat backing track. Quinn XCII sings of being locked in his mind and hiding his true emotions. This is a feeling the listener can relate to. How many smiles do you fake a day? Some lyrics include “I know I can look real good on paper,” “secretly want your sympathy,” and “I would jump off this skyscraper.” This song showcases a vulnerability that many artists find hard to convey in their songs. The lyrics almost make listening to “Feel Something” encompass a conversation with a friend. The instrumental track begins soft through the first verse then immediately picks up in the chorus. When the end of the song comes, there is a fade-out to coincide with the true emotion and empathy portrayed throughout this track.
The last song on Change Of Scenery II is called “Look How Far We’ve Come.” The title alone is a finishing ribbon tied on the present that is this album. Throughout the entire record, many difficult and low emotions are sung about. This title provides listeners with hope despite whatever hardships they find themselves going through. The song begins with an elevation of “oohhs.” The music behind the lyrics is upbeat until the bridge where another voice memo moment is added in. Then a sound encompassing the calming crash of waves begins to radiate through an echoing of vocals. The lyrics are nostalgic for anyone who wants to reminisce or are currently going through college. The song reassures that everything will work out, leaving the listener in a feel-good spirit.
Listen to Change Of Scenery II here.