If you’ve ever listened to Quinn XCII or gone to boarding school, there’s a 99% chance you know who Chelsea Cutler is. Fun fact: Chelsea left Amherst College to pursue music – talk about going after your dreams! At the age of 22, she’s produced three solo albums with hit songs including “Your Shirt” and “The Reason”. Chelsea Cutler has demonstrated how to make love songs more upbeat and uplifting with her signature electronic drops. On the flip side, “Brent”, her recently released collaboration EP with Jeremy Zucker, is a whole other story. Zucker and Cutler’s voices blend together perfectly with a light airy feel and the EP loses Cutler’s EDM/house effects to bring ballads with raw emotion. Whether you’re studying, walking across campus, or falling asleep, this EP will perfectly fit your needs, so why not give it a shot?
you were good to me
Jeremy and Chelsea wrote their first collab “better off” together after transforming a Connecticut cabin into their own personal recording studio. After this trip, they joined forces again to tell the story of about a lost love. They both sing and reflect on the good times, saying “you were good to me” and fear of a future without each other with “I’m still scared of growin’ old”, but both realize they’re damaged from the strains in their relationship. It is a short but sweet introduction to the tone of Zucker and Cutler’s EP.
In the first verse, Cutler sings from the female perspective and reveals how she feels lost without her love. She “doesn’t know where she’s started” and she has lost a sense of her herself during their relationship. Chelsea relates to how many people feel after the end of a relationship, she felt that he was taking parts of her and broken promises with him when he was leaving. In the second verse, Zucker sings from the male perspective and sings about how he won’t let go and he’ll always have hope for them, but now is not the time. Both parties are conflicted but they’ve settled with the fact that their relationship is over.
In my opinion, this song has the most vulnerable lyrics of the whole EP and opens up about the emotions felt after a heartbreak. She goes through the motions of wanting to be with the person she loves but also prioritizing her own mental health needs. She comes to terms with the toxicity of not just her relationship with someone else, but her relationship with herself. Out of all of the tracks, this is the most in-my-bag yet soothing song, and truly shows the changing nature of Cutler’s mentality toward love and self-care in her young adulthood.
hello old friend
Hello new friend offers more of a dynamic song with effects like bass lines and electronic sounds, closer to Cutler’s usual style. It’s one of the songs off the album that you can mindlessly listen to but will still resonate with anyone who has grown from lessons they’ve learned after life-changing experiences. It tells the listener the struggles of getting over someone and how much value and parts of ourselves we associate with them.
Scared closes up the EP with the same piano ballad it began with. Like Billie Eilish’s “Ocean Eyes”, Zucker sings “I see ocean in your eyes, it makes me scared so if we both drown don’t be scared”. He reassures the listener he will always be there no matter what will come in the future. “No one knows was comes next” so he doesn’t let it affect his current mentality, he will just continue to live his life and move on without fear weighing him down.
There are certain things that will always take me back to boarding school: cereal for any meal of the day, Sunday town runs, check-in, lights out, intervis, and Chelsea Cutler. She encouraged our teen angst while we were on our fourth coffee of the day trying to make it through exam week. Her calming music reminds me of moving on and getting older. As dramatic as it sounds, her music was there for me in times of change. Just as I’ve grown up, “brent” has demonstrated Cutler’s growing maturity with experience, lyrics, and adaptability in moving on from her old “teen angst” style. Now, her songs flood me with nostalgia and help me reminiscence on the sleepless nights and early mornings I wouldn’t take back for the world.