QUARTER LIFE CRISIS – ” Quarter​-​Life Crisis “

Posted: November 14, 2020 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Quarter-Life Crisis is a collaboration between Ryan Hemsworth and various artists who’ve come to prominence over the past couple of years, many of whom got their start playing scrappy DIY shows. The self-titled debut EP released on December 4th, 2020 features contributions from Frances Quinlan (Hop Along), Meg Duffy (Hand Habits), Charlie Martin (Hovvdy), Yohuna, and Claud. It showcases Hemsworth in a new phase of his career, one that is perhaps a bit less indebted to the nightclub dance floor. “It’s always been a goal to mix, like, 25% electronic sounds and 75% live indie rock sounds,” he says. Collaboration is paramount to Hemsworth’s process, and though he produced all of the instrumentation on the album, he left the lyrics and intention of the song up to the contributors. The resulting collection shapeshifts from track-to-track, taking on new personalities as it moves between artists.

Quarter-Life Crisis, Ryan Hemsworth’s shared another new track from their self-titled EP:  “Comfortable” featuring Meg Duffy of Hand Habits. Quarter-Life Crisis‘ debut EP also features collaborations with Frances Quinlan (Hop Along), Of the track Duffy said “When I was asked to do a writing session with Ryan, I had no idea who he was or what his music sounded like or what his life may be like. I completely showed up to this weird little studio completely blind to predisposition, a little embarrassed because the first time Ryan and I tried to connect I accidentally no-showed him after writing in the date on my analogue calendar wrong. I had never done any sort of co-writing session before and was a little nervous, but since I had no investment I went in with the intention of having fun and being open to whatever spirits wanted to move. We threw autotune on as a joke (half-joke because I can be pretty pitchy especially in the writing process) and it sounded kind of cool. I started thinking about AI and cyborgs and people/souls disassociating from bodies and identity and kind of just freestyled until a mildly understandable common theme started to swim up. It was really fun!!”

The collaboration is paramount to Hemsworth’s process, and though he produced all of the live instrumentation on the album, he left the lyrics and intention of the song up to the contributors. The resulting collection shape-shifts from track-to-track, taking on new personalities as it moves between artists. Quarter-Life Crisis announced the EP with “Postcard From Spain” feat. Frances Quinlan, which Stereogum, Paste and Under The Radar hailed as one of the best songs of the week upon its release. This was the followed by “Waterfall” feat. Charlie Martin of Hovvdy, which was highlighted by NPR, Under the Radar, and others.

The genesis of Ryan Hemsworth’s new project, Quarter-Life Crisis, can be traced all the way back to his childhood bedroom in Nova Scotia, where the producer spent the bulk of his high school years listening to emerging indie acts and playing guitar. Not loving the sound of his own voice and without a band, he eventually started making music on his laptop, which earned him accolades as he stepped out into electronic and club music scenes. His prolific output, paired with a voracious appetite for a wide range of genres and creation of his own label Secret Songs, has made Hemsworth a fixture since he released his debut solo album, Guilt Trips, in 2013. 

But now, Hemsworth’s trying his hand at something unexpected that is nonetheless close to his heart and origin story as a musician. Quarter-Life Crisis is a collaboration with various artists who’ve come to prominence over the past couple of years, many of whom got their start playing scrappy DIY shows. “This project has me in the process of going back to when I was a kid when I’d sit down and play guitar for hours and come up with melodies and chords by just messing around,” Hemsworth says. “It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for ages. Quarter-Life Crisis is just another way for me to work with artists whose music I really enjoy and listen to all the time.”

Working with musicians who largely fall into the category of “indie” gave Hemsworth the opportunity to revisit some of the artists who inspired him to become a musician in the first place. He cites bands like the Cardigans, Grandaddy, Bright Eyes, and Sparklehorse as being foundational to his writing process this time around. Quarter-Life Crisis a sharp turn away from his last project, 2019’s CIRCUS CIRCUS, which he made alongside the Japanese rap duo Yurufuwa Gang, but for Hemsworth, working in a wide array of genres and modes keeps him on his toes, and ultimately, keeps his career interesting. “Getting out of my comfort zone and bringing others into that process has always led to something really unique,” Hemsworth says. “As a producer, I really respond to other people’s ideas and whatever they can bring to a song. Being in a room with someone with a different outlook, or working remotely with them, I hopefully help facilitate something that feels new and exciting for both of us.”

Quarter-Life Crisis – from the Quarter-Life Crisis EP out December 4th, 2020 on Saddle Creek Records. 

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