One of the weirdest things we do is grow older. As the years go by and we try to find our place in the world, we take on new roles, get caught in awkward situations, and try our best to make sense of our surroundings. It can all be so overwhelming, which is why we turn to Carlie Hanson and her new EP, DestroyDestroyDestroyDestroy. On DestroyDestroyDestroyDestroy, Carlie touches on some of the more elaborate parts of growing up, but does so in a way that reminds us that the process can be just as empowering as it is daunting.
The EP kicks off with “Fires” and “Is That a Thing?,” two tracks that are almost complete opposites of one another. On “Fires,” we become acquainted with feelings of self-sabotage. With the help of Lil West, Carlie describes ways in which she tears down all of the good going on around her, singing “Everything is perfect / Don’t think I deserve it.” The flames rise even higher on “Is That a Thing?,” an anthemic rock track that shrugs off those familiar feelings of guilt and paranoia. Basically, nobody has things figured out, but it is fine. All we can do is embrace the unknown and expect the unexpected.
The vibe becomes even more introspective towards the middle of the EP, where we experience moments of pure strength and total weakness. Carlie teams up with Iann Dior on “Ego,” which instills us with all of the power and swag we would need to take over the world. Before we do so, however, it might be best to pop over to the nearest hotel for a private retreat, as Carlie does on “Daze Inn.” The dreamy track fills us with the nostalgia we tend to feel when we look back on lighter, more innocent times – when everything around us ceased to exist. Just as we get nice and cozy, though, Carlie brings us back to reality with the acoustic “Stealing All My Friends.” The stripped-back tune emphasizes just how lonely it can be to lose the people you love to the addictive world of drugs, and makes for a compelling moment on the EP.
Before we know it, we are easing into the end of DestroyDestroyDestroy with “Side Effects” and “Good Enough.” Side effects will usually have negative connotations, but on Carlie’s “Side Effects,” the connotations are nothing but positive – almost too positive. As Carlie sings, “I had it all together / Now you make me such a wreck / Lying on the kitchen floor / Feeling all the side effects,” we pick up on how annoyed she is that someone in her life makes her feel this emotional, but know that she is more than accepting of the situation. Sadly, the high that Carlie feels in “Side Effects” fades away on “Good Enough,” where Carlie questions her worth. It is a gloomy ending to the EP, but the optimistic sound of the music gives us hope that things will get better.
Overall, DestroyDestroyDestroyDestroy is alluring and affective; when you listen to Carlie’s songs, you just get it. There is a charm and a sense of purpose on each track that washes over you and makes you want more. While Carlie does not actually describe cases where she physically annihilates various items or structures in her life, she definitely comes through on the notion of metaphorically destroying the parts of your life that prevent you from being your best self. It might not be easy to find your way in life, but it is worth the journey.
You can listen to DestroyDestroyDestroyDestroy on platforms like Apple Music and Spotify.