Recommended Tracks: “BMW”, “NIGHT OF YOUR LIFE”, “NICE GUY”
Artists You May Like: Rex Orange County, Still Woozy, Dominic Fike
In the three years that lo-fi indie artist Yxngxr1 has been creating and sharing his music with the world, so much has changed. Whether you have moved, been part of a movement, started a new job or a new life, you have definitely evolved from whoever you were three years ago. Along the way, Yxngxr1 has been there to keep things wholesome and grounded, releasing countless singles and projects that tell the story of someone simply just trying to find his place in the world. Whether he is referencing classic 90s TV shows or the latest names in fashion, Yxngxr1 has helped create an escape from some of the noise of the outside world, and continues to do so on his latest album, Teenage Motel.
On Teenage Motel, we join Yxngxr1 on his quest to find love. We catch him in a few reveries, like on “NIKE AND DIAMOND RINGS,” where he declares to the girl “wearing Nikes and a diamond ring” that if he became in possession of the world, he would give her anything she wanted. This sentiment comes through again on “NIGHT OF YOUR LIFE,” where he plays out different ways he could get close to someone. Over a summery indie pop beat, he sings, “I could drive you around in your favorite car” and “We could just pass the time getting drunk on wine,” getting caught up in the idea of knowing this person better. We can feel how dedicated he is to relationships with these songs, especially on “CALL ME IF U WANT,” where he imagines doing cute couple-y things with someone who is “worth the wait.”
Even though Yxngxr1 has all of these fantastic ideas about love, there are moments when he gets in his way and brings himself down. We heard him do some self-sabotage last month with “NICE GUY,” where he sang, “She thinks I’m a nice guy / I’m not really like that,” believing that this girl was possibly too good for him. He also sings, “How I knew I’d never be enough / I could tell from your heart” on “SWEATSHIRT,” further wallowing in this self-doubt. We get an idea that maybe things would work out for him on “MAKE U MINE,” where Yxngxr1 recalls his attempts at trying to impress someone. Still, he sings, “My one and only / Don’t make me lonely,” coming up short.
While we get such varying stories on the album, Yxngxr1 keeps things light and moving with the music. For instance, on “BMW,” we get optimistic horns and bright guitar riffs that add color to the fresh and fun lyrics. Additionally, Yxngxr1 gives us waves of rhythms and layers of percussion on “TELL ME IF I STAYED TOO LONG,” expanding beyond the lo-fi indie rap sound he has been associated with since his debut. Still, he does play up this classic style on tracks like “ROOM 2,” the chill hip-hop production contributing to the ever-forward vibe of the album.
Overall, Teenage Motel is an engaging record for the summer. From the witty lyrics to the smooth collaborations, the album offers a lot of innocence and entertainment from beginning to end. The format of Teenage Motel is also well thought-out, as we arrive in the lobby of the motel on the opening track, experience short musical interludes that add to this bigger narrative, and are taken to the checkout desk on the closing track. Whether you choose to stay for a little or return again and again, Teenage Motel is definitely the place to be and will offer something new to explore on each visit.
You can listen to Teenage Motel on platforms like Apple Music, SoundCloud, and Spotify.