Being in your early 20s is a terrifying thing. You might question what you are doing with your life and if you are in the right place at the right time. You might feel lost, confused, and missing a sense of purpose. Or you might fall in and out of love once or maybe a few times. On top of it all, you might be afraid to admit these things to your friends and maybe even to yourself.
But 22-year-old Chelsea Cutler isn’t afraid to share with the world what it is like to be a young 20-something. She has self-wrote, recorded and produced four EP’s and has accumulated over 750 million streams. This is quite an accomplishment, considering she had yet to release a full-length album. That album, titled How To Be Human, just dropped January 17.
About The Music, Lyrics, & Meaning of the Album
How To Be Human is a record about trying to maneuverer around life’s twists and turns, being infatuated with someone, falling out of love with that someone, and all of the chaos that happens in between; all with touches of dreamy electro-pop voice distortions, synthesizers, and delicate guitars. Like her previous EP’s, Cutler wrote, recorded and produced her debut album.
Cutler’s lyricism is unmatched because she writes about what every 20-something is afraid to admit—we don’t know what the hell we are doing. She confesses in the title track ‘How To Be Human,’ “Thought I’d know it all by 21/but I still don’t.”
She is able to paint a very detailed picture of her past relationships and might even make you think that you were living in that relationship, like in ‘nj,’ “Wanna take you out in SoHo get your favorite order…share your music on the subway and wear each other sweaters” and in ‘New Recording 28-Lions,” an emotional, slowed down coffeehouse-sounding track, “I hope you’re asleep in your building/that is 16 blocks from mine.”
Pining over someone is a common topic in Cutler’s music. In ‘I Miss You’ she confesses “I’m so scared I love you still…I’m so scared I need you still” and in ‘Sad Tonight,’ a The 1975-esqe tune, “You have my heart but you don’t even want it.”
God is another theme in this record. Cutler shares in ‘The Human Condition’ “On my hands and my knees I’m praying/I wish I understood what the priest was saying.”
It Brings Out All The Emotions
If you’re looking for a good cry, a standout track is the last song on the album ‘Crazier Things.’ It feels like the rawest song on the record, with lines such as “Drinks in New York City/think I fell in love before I knew your birthday” and “What if we are still meant to be/crazier things have happened.” That guitar at the end? Pure. Magic.
Yes, this album has a lot of cry-in-your-bedroom-while-the-rain-falls songs, but there are a few happy-go-lucky songs thrown in there. ‘Lucky‘ is one of them. ‘Lucky’ is a thank you note to Cutler’s parents, band, friends, and fans. This song was her fasted growing single to date, amassing over 8 million Spotify streams. For good reason, as this is a cute little tune about feeling grateful for life’s simplicities.
If this album doesn’t make you feel something, we don’t know what will. With the perfect mix of raw, acoustic songs and produced songs, this is an album to keep on your radar. Thank you, Chelsea, for saying what so many of us are afraid to admit to ourselves and for sharing what it means to be alive.
At the rate Cutler is going, her debut album could very well be the best record of 2020.
What did you think of the album? Are you going to see Chelsea on tour? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @thehoneypop!
Featured Image Source: Republic Records